Atlanta’s New Mayor Still To-Be-Determined

Atlanta’s New Mayor Still To-Be-Determined

Mayoral incumbents in several cities appeared headed for re-election as vote counting continued early Wednesday, Nov. 3

Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The 61st mayor of Atlanta will be . . . decided on Nov. 30.

None of the 14 candidates on Tuesday’s ballot received a majority of the vote, so the top two finishers will advance to a runoff.

One will be City Council President Felicia Moore. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Moore held 41 percent of the vote. Moore was elected to the council in 1997 and as council president in 2017.

Former Mayor Kasim Reed

As of early Wednesday, the second slot remained uncertain. Former (2010-18) Mayor Kasim Reed and City Council member Andre Dickens both held 23 percent. As of 1 a.m., Reed’s lead over Dickens was about 470 votes.

The results reported Tuesday night did not include absentee ballots. Voter turnout in Fulton County, which includes the bulk of the city of Atlanta, was about 20 percent of registered voters.

Andre Dickens

The race for Atlanta City Council president also appeared headed for a runoff. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Doug Shipman led with 31 percent, followed by Courtney English with 27 percent and Natalyn Archibong with 25 percent, ahead of two other candidates.

In the race for Atlanta City Council at-large Post 1, Brandon Cory Goldberg, who is Jewish, was running second among five candidates, with 16 percent of the vote, while incumbent Michael Julian Bond held 60 percent, with 56 percent of precincts reporting.

Sandy Springs incumbent Mayor Randy Paul held 69 percent of the vote against challenger Dontaye Carter at 31 percent, with 81 percent of precincts reporting.

Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs

Incumbent Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin led challenger Michelle Cooper Kelly by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent, with all precincts having reported.

In Johns Creek, John Bradberry led Brian Weaver, 61 percent to 39 percent, with 35 percent of precincts reporting. The winner succeeds Mayor Mike Bodker, who has been mayor since the city incorporated in 2006. Bodker, who is Jewish, had announced in 2018 that he would not seek re-election.

Incumbent Tucker Mayor Frank Auman led challenger Robin Biro by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, with 22 percent of precincts reporting.

Measures to extend sales taxes to support education were ahead by comfortable margins in Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb counties.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

The Atlanta mayoral race opened up when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she would not seek a second term.

A poll conducted Oct. 6-20 by the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs — commissioned by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — asked respondents to identify “the most pressing issue currently facing the City of Atlanta.” Crime led with 47.9 percent, followed by affordable housing, 26.2 percent; income inequality, 8.6 percent; coronavirus, 4.2 percent; corruption, 3.7 percent, and traffic congestion, 3.7 percent. Nearly 70 percent said that the city was headed in the wrong direction in its handling of crime and more than 60 percent said the same about affordable housing.

As of Oct. 9, homicides in the city were up 15 percent compared with the same period in 2020 and up 63 percent compared with 2019. The city also has recorded increases in shootings and aggravated assaults. Public attention was heightened by the stabbing death of a woman walking her dog at night in Piedmont Park and a bartender abducted and shot to death as she returned home from a late shift. Additionally, spikes in some form of crime in Buckhead have been at the center of the movement to secede from Atlanta and create a new Buckhead City.

This was the most significant election conducted since the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law Senate Bill 202, Georgia’s controversial voting law.

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