July 11, 2017
After more than three years out of public view, former New Orleans Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer wants to return to City Hall.
Several political observers had her possibly running for mayor, but Palmer said Monday (July 10) she will challenge incumbent Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey in a bid to reclaim the District C seat.
"I don't think we had the same level of community engagement that we had in the past," Palmer said. "But let's face it. This is all going to be about crime."
Palmer said she had been fielding complaints about Ramsey from district residents for months, but that the council's vote to demolish the Canal Street ferry terminal was the final straw.
That unanimous vote in March tacitly endorsed a half-finished plan to rebuild a smaller terminal in its place on the east bank, one that lacked a footbridge over nearby railroad tracks or the capacity to load cars onto ferries in case of an evacuation.
Palmer had panned the plan as unfair to Algiers residents and service industry workers who have called a bridge critical to help them get to work on time. The council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration have since promised to build one as a separate project.
An Algiers resident and former nonprofit executive, Palmer first won the District C seat in 2010. She declined to run for a second four-year term, explaining then that she wanted to spend more time with her teenage daughters. Two of them are now in college.
Palmer said she has spent her time out of office buying and renovating vacant properties, mostly on the West Bank.
Palmer's name had surfaced as a possible mayoral candidate. Her focus on the council leaves announced mayoral candidates -- former judges Michael Bagneris and Desiree Charbonnet, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and businessman Frank Scurlock -- to continue their watch for more challengers.
The three-day qualifying period for all municipal races begins Wednesday.
Palmer's surprise exit from a reelection bid led Landrieu to cajole Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson out of her retirement plans to run against Ramsey. Ramsey beat Clarkson in a runoff.
District C stretches across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater to Algiers and English Turn.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 14 with a runoff, if needed, on Nov. 18.