2021 Election Watch: Susan Hutson Defeats Marlin Gusman

Photo source: Facebook

With 88% of results reported, Big Easy Magazine predicts that Susan Hutson will defeat 17-year incumbent Marlin Gusman and become the next Orleans Parish Sheriff.

At 10:00pm and with 88% of ballots counted, Hutson had claimed 53.9% of the votes to Gusman’s 46.1%.

Hutson is a criminal justice reform advocate who previously led the Office of the Independent Police Monitor. She was widely backed by local reform advocacy groups and individuals, including District Attorney Jason Williams. Throughout her campaign, Hutson promised to further reduce the Orleans Parish jail population, oppose a proposed 89-bed jail expansion, bring the jail into compliance with a federal reform agreement, and to put an end to charging inmates for phone calls made from the jail.

The stinging defeat serves as a rebuke of Gusman’s long incumbency, which has been rife with problems, including a botched evacuation of thousands of inmates during Hurricane Katrina. In 2013, Gusman was placed under a federal consent decree in response to frequent violence at the jail – a decree which he has often struggled to fulfill. From 2016 to 2020, Gusman was actually sidelined from his duties running the jail.

As the campaign received increasing national attention, Gusman attempted to paint himself as a reform advocate as well – a claim that reform advocacy groups across New Orleans quickly refuted. Former City Councilmember Susan Guidry noted that Gusman fought against measures meant to reduce the local prison population “tooth-and-nail-first,” while others noted that the federal consent decree and Gusman’s sidelining actually meant that he could not have been responsible for the 85 percent reduction in the local prison population.


Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *