They are Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, a community activist and Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian, and Kenneth Cutno, a community development and housing consultant. They say they will sign up for the District D and Division 1 at-large seats, respectively.Add a Batiste to a ballot that already includes a Bagneris and a Charbonnet in the mayoral slot and you've got yourself one heck of an #authentic NOLA-branded field. We should look into selling Brass Passes or something. If anything it further highlights the absence of any Landrieus whatsoever. Especially strange given that there are millions of those.
Cutno's name is less familiar but he himself has run for office previously. Granted that was more or less what one might consider a vanity campaign against Cedric Richmond last year. Jumping into a citywide At-Large race with little experience or name recognition would seem much the same way. But that's fine because minor candidates hoping to catch fire are important. Often they are free to focus on policy positions more established figures may find risky but which deserve to be heard.
Cutno is calling for the repeal of a comprehensive set of regulations for short-term rentals that the City Council approved last year, a $17 million investment in affordable housing programs and the removal of the city’s traffic cameras, among other things.Not that other candidates aren't talking about housing. But few have directly called for a repeal of the STR regs even though it's already clear they will have to be revisited one way or another. I also believe Michael Bagneris has criticized the traffic cameras. But is he even a major candidate at this point?