Cynthia Hedge-Morrell

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Cynthia Hedge- Morrell
New Orleans City Council member for District D
In office
April 2005 – 2014
Preceded by David Payton (interim)
Succeeded by Jared Brossett
Personal details
Born (1947-09-04) September 4, 1947 (age 70)
Place of birth missing
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Arthur A. Morrell

Four sons, including:

Jean-Paul Morrell
Residence New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater

University of New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans
Occupation Educational administrator

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (born September 4, 1947)[1] is an American teacher, a former school administrator, and a Democratic politician from New Orleans, Louisiana. She served on the New Orleans City Council from 2005 to 2014.


Hedge-Morrell holds a Bachelor of Administration in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Science from Loyola University New Orleans.

Political life[edit]

Hedge-Morrell's service in the District D seat on the city council began with a special election on April 2, 2005, to fill the seat vacated by newly elected Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman. David Payton had held the post on an interim basis but did not enter the special election, which was held some four months before Hurricane Katrina struck. Hedge-Morrell instead defeated a Republican candidate, Eustis J. Guillemet, Jr. (born January 1934), 4,959 votes (84.5 percent) to 912 (15.5 percent).[2] District D includes Gentilly and parts of the Upper Ninth Ward, the neighborhoods that were the most seriously damaged by the levee failures of 2005 that accompanied Hurricane Katrina.

Hedge-Morrell was re-elected in 2006 but with a reduced majority. A number of her colleagues faced voter dissatisfaction stemming from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin won re-election only after facing a much tougher challenge than expected before the hurricane and half of the members who wished to stay were not returned to the city council.

In 2007, Hedge-Morrell faced a political scandal when she was pulled over by Louisiana State Police for driving 100 mph on Interstate 10. She yelled at the state trooper, "Do you know who I am? ... What the hell are you stopping me for?"[3] She later apologized for the incident.[4]

In 2014, Hedge-Morrell was term-limited in her District D council seat and instead ran unsuccessfully for the Division 2 at-large seat.[5] She was defeated by a two-to-one margin by her fellow Democrat, Jason Williams.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Since 1966, Hedge-Morrell has been married to Arthur A. Morrell, who served as a state representative for District 97 from 1984 to 2006, when he was elected as the Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal Court. District 97 roughly covers the same area as District D. Hedge-Morrell and her husband were among the participants in movie director Spike Lee's documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts.

One of the Morrells' four sons, Jean-Paul Morrell, succeeded his father in the state House and served from 2006 to 2009, when he joined the Louisiana State Senate, where he remains in office. Two other sons, Todd and Nicholas Morrell, are officers with the New Orleans Police Department.

Election History[edit]

Councilmember, District D, 2005 Threshold > 50% First Ballot, April 2, 2005

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell Democratic 4,959 (84%) Elected
Eustis A. Guillemet Republican 912 (16%) Defeated

Councilmember, District D, 2006 Threshold > 50% First Ballot, April 22, 2006

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell Democratic 10,889 (56%) Elected
Louella Givens Democratic 4,194 (22%) Defeated
Others n.a. 4,319 (22%) Defeated


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. April 22, 2005. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ Times-Picayune archive. "Cop: Morrell racing down I-10". Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ Times-Picayune archive. "Hedge-Morrell apologizes for speeding". Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ Jaquetta White. "Experience major factor in race for Division 2 seat". Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Election Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. March 15, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 


Political offices
Preceded by
David Payton (interim)
New Orleans City Council member for District D
Succeeded by
Jared Brossett