Former Civil District Court Judge Nadine Ramsey has pulled to within 1 percentage point with Jackie Clarkson, with 60 of 65 precincts reporting.
After Clarkson widened her lead all night and flirted with the 50 percent threshold that would prevent a runoff, Ramsey is now 0.6 percent behind the longtime city councilwoman in the District C race.
Clarkson has 44.99 percent to Ramsey’s 44.39 percent.
Clarkson, who has spent 15 of the last 23 years on the council, ran on her experience and painted the last four years as series of success stories that needed to be extended. She enjoyed the backing of much of the current establishment, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu and outgoing District C Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer.
Ramsey ran what she called a grassroots campaign, picking up a greater number of small donors. She enjoyed the support from much of the African-American political establishment, notably U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond.
Former Orleans Parish School Board member Lourdes Moran has 6 percent of the vote and newcomers Carlos Williams and Eloise Williams each have 3 percent, with Eloise Williams holding a slight lead.
Crime, blight and economic development were the major issues in the district, which crosses the Mississippi River to include Algiers, the French Quarter, Bywater, Marigny and much of Treme. Toward the end of the campaign, Ramsey began to hit Clarkson hard over the service cuts and rate hikes affecting the Algiers ferry.