Even though Dr. Rani Whitfield announced the suspension of his Metro Council District 3 campaign this morning, voters will still see his name on the Nov. 8 ballot.
In a prepared statement, Whitfield, who qualified to run against Republican Metro Councilman and Mayor Pro Temp Chandler Loupe, says he’s suspending his campaign as he and others recover from the effects of last month’s devastating flood.
“As our families try to rebuild, many from the ground up having lost everything, it is not a good time for me to campaign,” Whitfield says in the statement. “During this time, I felt it necessary to volunteer my medical services to law enforcement, families and those displaced. Like many of you, I have been personally dealing with the the effects of the flood, however, my passion for helping others has not and will not wane.”
Louisiana Secretary of State spokesperson Meg Casper says the deadline to withdraw from the primary election was July 29, meaning Whitfield’s name will still appear on the ballot. Louisiana passed a law in 2015 establishing the deadline after 120 candidates withdrew from their respective races during the Congressional election of 2014. Their names already had been printed on the ballot, causing great confusion among voters, Casper says.
Whitfield acknowledges that he missed the deadline, but says he doesn’t have any intent to run at this point.
If Whitfield had made the deadline to officially withdraw, Loupe would have become the third Metro Council incumbent to be re-elected unopposed. Republican Trae Welch in District 1 and Democrat Donna Collins-Lewis in District 6 did not draw any opponents.