The rumors of the candidacy of former Orleans Council President Peggy Wilson for Mayor are now confirmed. In an interview with The Louisiana Weekly, Wilson confirmed that she had met with a group of consultants and has begun fundraising for a bid for the city's chief executive post.
Three months ago, the idea that a Republican, much less a white Republican, seeking the Mayor's office would have brought nothing but the proverbial "guffaws" of the impossible or quixotic. Yet, with a February election looming, and most of the city's population gone, perhaps permanently, the former Council President's quest seems less unlikely.
A large portion of Wilson's former Council District A, silk stocking Uptown, was relatively unharmed by Katrina, and the term limits advocate is one of the few Republicans with populist enough appeal to pick up white votes in the normally Democratic bastions of the French Quarter, Fabourg Marigny, and Algiers-areas that survived the storm with little damage or population loss.
Race, however, plays the dominant card. The recent post-Katrina survey done by the Red Cross shows, however, that at best 40% of the population of Orleans Parish will be Black by February. Perhaps even less.