In Lyon, David Kimelfeld, a determined rival against Gérard Collomb

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David Kimelfeld alongside Tony Parker and the basketball players of Villeurbanne, champions of France on June 27th. President of the Métropole de Lyon, Gérard Collomb's ex-right-hand man refuses to give him his seat.
David Kimelfeld alongside Tony Parker and the basketball players of Villeurbanne, champions of France on June 27th. President of the Métropole de Lyon, Gérard Collomb's ex-right-hand man refuses to give him his seat. Douet / Alpaca / Andia.fr

Those who found him hesitant, too pale, condemned to remain in the guardian shadow of his mentor, discover a character happy to emancipate, without complex. David Kimelfeld, 58, replaced Gérard Collomb, 72, as president of the city, when he was appointed to the Ministry of the Interior. The faithful lieutenant no longer wants to let go of his chair. "He's completely determined, he'll go all the way. Moreover, his opponent is not Collomb, it's the right ", warns Jacques Boucaud, former journalist, who is part of his circle friendly.

The two former socialists, pioneers of the victorious march of Emmanuel Macron, are engaged in a duel without concessions for the next elections to the metropolis of Lyon. This poses a case of conscience to the majority party. "Emmanuel Macron will choose," said Gerard Collomb, on Europe 1, assuring that he would have a "Direct discussion" with the head of state before the summer. A clever way to bypass the electoral commission of LRM, where appear Dominique Perben (ex-UMP), unsuccessful candidate to the municipal of Lyon in 2008, and Jean-Marie Girier, former chief of cabinet of Gérard Collomb at the Ministry of the interior , angry with him.

A strong community of 59 municipalities

Even if they are supposed not to take part in the choice, as Lyonnais, they could see their influence play during the distribution of the official investitures of the party, between on the one hand the metropolis and the other the city hall (cumulate both being impossible). For now, Kimelfeld and Collomb both seek the community strong 59 municipalities, 1.6 million inhabitants and a budget of 3.5 billion euros, without thinking of the mayor, where powers are now reduced, since the reform having melted the department in the metropolis.

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Kimelfeld's new ambition does not surprise his old friends. Born in 1961, resident in Brignais, a small town southwest of Lyon, this unique son of a couple of senior executives starts very early in the political activity. "He has always been passionate about public affairs, about the organization of society, a leader, but always attentive to people", testifies Gilles Faveyrial. This teenage friend remembers the high school student who went on strike to protest the lack of teachers. President of a youth and culture house (MJC), member of the Movement against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples (MRAP), the young Kimelfeld, a product of the pink wave of 1981, includes a list of Union of the Left in the Municipalities of 1983.

Municipal conquest

David Kimelfeld appreciated Arnaud Montebourg and has a respectful memory of Lionel Jospin at Matignon. Pure product of the "Collombie lyonnaise", it participates in 2001 to the municipal conquest. Deputy, then mayor of 4e borough, he spent ten years in the city, at the rank of vice-president for economic development, then senior vice president.

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"When he appears in the political landscape of Lyon, he does not have the head beyond the cap, he remains humble, hardworking, rather modern," says Sylvie Guillaume. The MEP (PS) remembers a comrade involved in social issues, who was looking in his district for places to welcome during the winter crises. After a scientific baccalaureate, the student became a nurse. The experiment lasted four years in the emergency department of Louis-Pradel Hospital, known as the "cardiological hospital".

"My experience allows me to maintain a balanced relationship with the economic world. I know the entrepreneurial risk, but I do not have any fascination for this world. " David Kimelfeld

In 1989, with his friend Gilles, he changed foot and created Tepmare, a successful international freight company. His dual professional experience founds his political brand. "My experience allows me to maintain a balanced relationship with the economic world. I know the entrepreneurial risk, but I do not have any fascination for this world, " entrusts to the World David Kimelfeld, in a barely coded message to Collomb. In essence: the economic attractiveness is fine, but the theory of runoff is too short. Kimelfeld aims for a new meaning for the metropolis, where the social dimension would remain proportionate to the economic development, in an innovative, more collective governance.

The man who rides on an electric bike has finally taken off during his acting. The humiliation felt when Collomb organized, without warning, secret cabinet meetings, place Beauvau, on files Lyon, undoubtedly left traces. Conscious of its lack of notoriety, Kimelfeld multiplies "Territorial encounters", is positioned on the field of ecology, by launching the idea of ​​a pedestrianization of the peninsula of Lyon. Hoping secretly that his father in politics, weary of war, will end up softening the prodigal son.

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