by Paul Bowers
It's nearly two years out from Charleston's next mayoral election, but the rumor mill is already grinding away when it comes to potential candidates in the sure-to-be-lively race. The City Paper heard businesswoman and former Congressional candidate Linda Ketner's name getting tossed around, so we called her up to see if City Hall is on her radar.
"I am thinking about it. I haven't made any decision at all, but I am giving it some serious thought," Ketner said. "If there was a candidate that I truly believed would do a fabulous job, I would just as soon support him or her than run myself. So that's a major determining factor." Ketner says numerous people have approached her about taking the reins from Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., who has vowed that this will be his final term in office. She says she takes the requests as "a compliment."
Ketner is president of KSI Leadership & Management Development, a company that provides consulting and training services to businesses. "My career is strategic planning and leadership, and I think as we go forward in Charleston, both of those are going to be critical," Ketner says.
The last time Ketner ran for public office was in 2008, when she challenged District 1 Congressional incumbent Republican Henry Brown and captured 48 percent of the vote. It was the closest a Democrat had come to winning that seat in years, and some left-leaning Lowcountry residents have been buzzing about her making another go of it ever since.
"I don't have any agenda other than service," Ketner says. "There's nothing that I would bring to the party that would benefit cronyism or benefit cronies of mine."