Jackie Clarkson eked out 24 more votes than former Civil District Court Judge Nadine Ramsey, and the District C race’s two frontrunners are headed for a runoff.
Clarkson got 44.89 percent to Ramsey’s 44.74 percent, with all 65 precincts reporting
Former Orleans Parish School Board member Lourdes Moran got 5.45 percent of the vote, while and newcomers Eloise Williams and Carlos Williams got 2.49 percent and 2.44 percent, respectively.
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.
Clarkson got 7,001 votes, while Ramsey got 6,977 votes.
Moran received 850 votes, while Eloise Williams got 388 votes and Carlos Williams got 380 votes.
Clarkson’s margin of victory marked the second time a District C contest was decided by 24 votes. In 1994, it was Clarkson who came out on the short end when she lost her reelection bid to Troy Carter.
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.
Clarkson touted the 10,000 blighted properties neutralized by the council and Landrieu administration, though all said there was still more to do. On economic development, Clarkson’s challengers said the district is too often left out of the renaissance enjoyed by othe parts of the city. Clarkson, who is now at at-large member of the council, said that if elected she would use her clout and experience to raise the fortunes of the district.