Troy Carter, Karen Carter Peterson to face off for New Orleans' congressional seat
Democratic New Orleans state Sens. Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson finished first and second in Saturday's 2nd Congressional District primary election, setting up a winner-take-all, heads-up runoff election April 24 that promises to be a bruising battle.
Both are political heavyweights who will have the resources to wage a fierce battle for the seat.
They are seeking to replace former Congressman Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, who gave up his seat to become a senior adviser for President Joe Biden.
Carter finished first with 36%, followed by Peterson with 23%. Democrat Gary Chambers Jr. finished just out of the money with 21%.
Carter, 57, a management consultant who has served in both the Louisiana House and Senate, said he redefined the role of a legislator "with humanistic" priorities like advocating for equal pay for women and a higher minimum wage.
Carter has touted Richmond's endorsement as "having the ear of the guy who will have the ear of the president. It's a tremendous benefit," he said.
Peterson, who also has served in the state House and Senate and is the former chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, said she's running on a record "of 20 years of bold and progressive leadership fighting for working class families."
"My record uniquely positions me for this office," said Peterson, 51, an attorney.
Peterson noted a cache of her own high-profile endorsements.
Among them is Stacey Abrams, whose work was considered critical in flipping Georgia from Republican to Democratic in both the presidential race and in electing two Democratic U.S. senators.
"Cedric and I served together in the Legislature for years; he is a friend who is going to make Louisiana proud," Peterson said. "But at the end of the day the people of the district decide who they want moving forward in their leadership."
New Orleans is the population hub for the 2nd Congressional District, but it does travel up the Mississippi River parishes into a portion of Baton Rouge.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1