Runoffs, phone fee on ballot

New Orleans voters who live in City Council Districts B and E will decide who will represent them on the City Council for the next four years, and voters citywide will choose a 2nd City Court judge and decide whether they want to increase the part of their monthly phone bill that pays for 911 service.

Candidates LaToya Cantrell and Dana Kaplan are in a runoff to replace Stacy Head as the council member for District B, the seat that represents parts of Uptown, Broadmoor, Central City, the Central Business District and Mid-City.

In District E, Austin Badon and James Gray are in the runoff to fill the seat that represents eastern New Orleans. That slot opened up this summer when Jon Johnson resigned after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.

In 2nd City Court, Kiana Aaron-Mitchell and E. “Teena’’ Anderson-Trahan are vying to replace Mary “KK” Norman, who is retiring.

The 911 measure on the ballot would affect bills for residential land lines and voice over Internet protocol phones, which use the Internet to make calls. They would increase by $1 per month. Commercial land lines and VOIP bills also would increase $1 per month, and cellphones would go from $.0.85 a month to $1.26 a month.

If passed, the increased fees would become effective Jan. 1 and would bring in an additional $1.6 million in 2013 and $2.4 million a year after that. The revenue would fund equipment upgrades and cover consolidation costs for 911 dispatch.

Other elections of note Saturday in the state include the hotly contested Louisiana Supreme Court and 3rd Congressional district races.

Democrat John Michael Guidry and Republican Jeff Hughes are battling for the District 5 seat on the seven-member Louisiana Supreme Court. The district covers Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.

Guidry’s election would maintain the political mix on the state’s highest court at three Democrats, three Republicans and one no-party jurist who formerly ran as a Democrat. Hughes’ election would give Republicans a 4-3 majority on the state’s highest court.

Voters in Acadiana will decide the U.S. Congressional District 3 race pitting Republicans Charles Boustany Jr., of Lafayette, and Jeff Landry, of New Iberia. Both incumbents were forced into the race for the new District 3 after congressional redistricting.

The congressional district covers Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes.