Democrat Troy Carter Wins New Orleans-Based U.S. House Seat : NPR

State Senator Troy Carter won Louisiana’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District, vacated by Cedric Richmond after he left to join President Biden’s administration. Max Becherer / The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Attorney via AP Hide caption

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Max Becherer / The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Attorney via AP

State Senator Troy Carter won Louisiana’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District, vacated by Cedric Richmond after he left to join President Biden’s administration.

Max Becherer / The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Attorney via AP

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Democrat Troy Carter won the special election for Louisiana’s vacant US House seat on Saturday, defeating his Senate colleague and ending a bitter intra-party clash.

Carter easily defeated Karen Carter Peterson in the race for Louisiana’s only Democratic seat in Congress and gave a victory to the moderate side of the party after Peterson became firmly entrenched in the progressive camp.

The two senators had only modest political differences to distinguish them, and the race was largely focused on personality. However, Carter had the support of the seat’s predecessor, Cedric Richmond.

The seat of the 2nd District – which represents a black-majority district based in New Orleans and runs up the Mississippi to Baton Rouge – was open because Richmond left the position shortly after his election victory as special advisor to President Joe Biden. Richmond supported Carter, a former member of the New Orleans City Council, in the race.

Peterson, the former leader of the Louisiana Democratic Party, would have been the first black woman in the state to have been elected to Congress if she had been elected.

Carter and Peterson made it to the runoff on Saturday after emerging as the top voters from among 15 candidates in the March primary. Carter raised more campaign money in the competition.

The two senators differed more in style than substance, although Peterson positioned himself as a more liberal candidate. In one prick debate, Peterson described himself as “brave and progressive” and ready to “shake things up to get things done”.

Carter is better known for his ability and willingness to work bipartisan, while Peterson is more openly partisan in her approach. She suggested Carter snuggled up to Republicans to advance his campaign while he said Peterson’s dogmatic approach harmed their ability to pass laws.

“To get things done, you have to send someone to Washington who can build bridges, not walls, who can build relationships that mean something, don’t kick stones for not getting your way, not spitting out lies because you are lose, “Carter said in a debate. “Look, I’ve shown a willingness to work with people.”

Both candidates advocated raising the minimum wage, legalizing recreational marijuana and abortion rights. They supported changes in the funding and operation of law enforcement and public safety, although Peterson said she supported a “complete reorganization.”

“This system was not built to protect black and brown people,” she said. “We can’t just reform the police. We have to redefine public safety.”

Both Carter and Peterson said they support the Medicare for All idea. But while Peterson was fully in favor of moving to a government-run depository plan, Carter said he would like people to have the option to keep employer-funded coverage.

They exchanged allegations throughout the campaign.

Carter beat Peterson on her many missed votes in the Louisiana Senate.

Peterson turned down campaign donations Carter received from individuals and organizations associated with the oil and gas industry. She made supporting “environmental justice” one of the cornerstones of her campaign for poor communities exposed to greater health risks from pollution.

Carter pounded Peterson for proposing to establish Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program, started by Governor John Bel Edwards that did not require legislation. He noted that as the leader of the Democratic Party, she was preventing Edwards from running for governor.

They each praised top-class comments.

Peterson was supported by Stacey Abrams, the progressive US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and the Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, among others.

In addition to Richmond’s approval, Carter had support from James Clyburn, Democratic Leader of the No. 3 South Carolina House, New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams, and every black Senate member except Peterson.

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