However, Peterson’s best applause may reflect her best chance at winning.
“There was no African American woman serving in Louisiana history in Washington as part of the federal delegation,” she said. “When women aren’t at the table, we’re usually on the list.”
At a time when black women want to see more of their counterparts in positions of power – the view of much of the Democratic base share that black women run this year in high-profile elections in places like New York City, Virginia and Ohio – the message echoes clearly.
“I’m all for women right now, we just need representation,” said Donaldsonville resident Angela Steppe who attended the meeting.
For his part, Mr. Carter is quick to highlight his support from a host of local women leaders, including New Orleans City Council President, Helena Moreno – and to explain that he would be more effective in Washington than Mrs. Peterson because of what she admits is her tough approach.
“We have a very different method,” he said.
Philosophically, the two weren’t that far apart in the past. But Mrs. Peterson has sought to circumvent Mr. Carter on the left in this race, portraying herself as a rebel even as she flaunts her service as a former head of state and her own endorsement list, which includes support for Stacy Abrams and Emily’s list. The group that supports women who support abortion rights.
When asked to describe her style of politics, she avoided calling herself ideological, and instead called herself “responsive” and “honest.” Mr. Carter said, “I’m a center-left.”
However, in the quiet Special Spring elections, the winner may be decided by which of the main candidates has the stronger organization. Both have long histories of domestic office, and have both sought that seat in the past and were financially competitive, although Emily’s List gave Mrs. Peterson a third-party aid that Mr. Carter lacks on the airwaves.