Facebook’s Zuckerberg donates $200,000 to unseat New Orleans sheriff


Zachary Schultz, Breaking News Editor

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s political lobbying group has donated $200,000 to aid Susan Hutson in her bid to unseat longtime incumbent, Sheriff Marlin Gusman, in a runoff election that will conclude on Dec. 11. 

During the primary on Nov. 13, Gusman secured 48% of the vote total in the sheriff’s race, falling short of the 50.1% margin required to win reelection outright. Hutson received the second-largest share of the vote count, ending the night with 35%. The three other challengers in the race — Quentin Brown, Christopher Williams and Janet Hays — split the remainder of the vote, preventing them from entering the runoff election. Since then, both Williams and Hays have endorsed Sheriff Gusman. 

The substantial donation by Zuckerberg — the donation is more than the combined sum of all donations Hutson has collected since the start of her campaign — has been attacked by the Gusman campaign, which claims that Hutson’s campaign cash comes predominantly from out-of-state interests. Hutson’s campaign has also attacked donations that Gusman has received as sheriff — several large-sum donations made to Gusman came from donors who have business with the sheriff’s office he heads — which have totaled a staggering $900,000 since 2014. 

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