City Council President Jason Williams told a packed New Orleans Film Festival audience Tuesday night that he’s in the 2020 race for Orleans Parish district attorney.That's a whole cycle and a half away but it's something everyone has been waiting to talk about. As DA, Leon has been just about the purest embodiment you could conjure of the brutality and injustice our legal system visits on the poor and vulnerable. A lot of people will be champing at the bit to get after him. At the same time, he's possibly the toughest and most savvy politician in the city. If he decides to run for reelection it will be because he believes he can win.
Williams, 45, made plain what many political observers had long expected: that he’ll take another run at a position he sought a decade ago, when he ran a distant third to Leon Cannizzaro.
Cannizzaro, who is nearing the end of his second six-year term as district attorney, has not said publicly whether he will seek re-election.
As for Jason Williams, it's possible that he could have been mayor if he'd decided to try for that last year. But he's had an eye on this race for a long time. He's been increasingly disappointing as a councilman lately so this move might work out for the best all around. It's true a lot can happen in two years. But if this race happens, it will get a lot of attention.
Also for all their differences Jason and Leon do share a number of allies in common. So if they do face off, people will have some interesting choices to make. Which is why it wouldn't be surprising to see Leon find a graceful way to move out of the way at some point. Remember his name came up in the conversation for that US Attorney appointment recently. That didn't happen but it was notable that he was apparently open to making a jump. Keep that in mind.