Three days after New Orleans City Council member Jared Brossett was arrested for a third time for impaired driving, he suspended his campaign for general council, citing the need to focus on his rehabilitation .
But his campaign said Tuesday that Brossett cannot control what others do on his behalf after a worker was seen hanging up signs over the weekend supporting his candidacy.
The signs were placed along Robert E. Lee Boulevard. in Gentilly on the first day of early voting for the Nov. 13 primary, but not at Brossett’s request, a campaign spokesperson said.
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“Although Jared is currently in treatment and not campaigning personally, many continue to campaign on Jared’s behalf but not under Jared’s leadership,” said Greg Buisson.
The campaign of one of Brossett’s contenders, former state senator JP Morrell, scorned hidden aid Monday night after raising the issue of continued campaign activity.
“We understand Council Member Brossett has put his campaign on hold, and it is unfortunate that someone is posting his campaign signs in a clear attempt to mislead voters,” said Morrell campaign manager James Baker.
It’s the latest twist in what has become one of the most intriguing races of this political season. With Mayor LaToya Cantrell lacking a top challenger and council member Helena Moreno set to largely retain her Division 1 headquarters, the city-wide race for the Division 2 headquarters has sparked interest disproportionate.
Brossett’s arrest came just days after he and competitor Kristin Gisleson Palmer approved of each other. Already seen as a possible wild card in the Palmer-Morrell fight, Brossett’s downfall has forced Palmer and Morrell to question whether he should continue serving his term and continue his campaign. They both largely dodged the question – as did fourth candidate in the race, college administrator Bart Everson – and focused on his need for help.
Brossett was arrested on October 18 after officers found him asleep while driving his Lexus at a gas station convenience store on Elysian Fields Avenue. He later reportedly failed a field field sobriety test and was ordered to drive while intoxicated.
Brossett was arrested on the same charge in June 2020 after hopping on neutral city terrain, also on Elysian Fields, and crashing his city-owned Chevrolet Tahoe into an oncoming car. He was also arrested for impaired driving in Florida in 2006.
District Council member D admitted that he was struggling with alcohol addiction and had taken several alcohol and drug addiction courses. Buisson said Brossett was receiving treatment again, but did not provide details on Tuesday.
Less than two weeks before the election, nearly 40% of voters have not yet decided on a candidate for an open general seat in the City of New Orleans…
While Brossett is not expected to win the General Seat, an open question ahead of his arrest in October was whether he would garner enough votes to force a run-off between Morrell and Palmer.
It is not yet clear how the arrest will affect his ability to do so. A University of New Orleans poll released Monday did not include Brossett in questions about the popularity of candidates in the race in general.
Jared Brossett to suspend general council race after DWI arrest, prioritizing rehabilitation
It is also unclear how much aid his suspended campaign will continue to receive from third parties in the weeks leading up to November 13.
Although Brossett suspended his campaign, he did not withdraw his candidacy, his campaign manager noted.
“It should be noted that Jared remains on the ballot and his votes will count on election day,” said Buisson.