Atlanta’s new mayor is still up in the air! The Atlanta mayoral race is going into a runoff election between Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore and Councilman Andre Dickens.
The ballot was full of people who thought they could change the city. The election produced a shocking surprise when former two-term mayor Kasim Reed, who was considered a front runner, failed to qualify for the November 30th runoff.
Many candidates centered their campaigning around Mr. Reed’s corruption scandals that eventually led to many high-profile city officials’ indictments and guilty pleas. This election was a chance for Mr. Reed to bounce back into the political world, but the corruption scandals got the best of his campaign.
In a statement on Thursday, Kasim Reed thanked his voters and conceded to Ms. Moore and Mr. Dickens.
“Although my campaign was unsuccessful, I still believe our city’s future is brightest as one is united. Thank you, Atlanta.”
Many of the candidates ran on fixing the crime and policing problems that the city faces. Dickens wants to expand the police force by 250 officers in his first year, and Moore has vowed to provide incentives to hire at least 200 officers in her first 100 days in office.
With crime being one of the city’s most prominent adversaries, the city also has a sprawling and gentrification issue. Many voters have voiced their concerns on how the candidates should help with income inequality, affordable housing, and zoning issues.
Dickens plans to slow property taxes for seniors, expand the city’s all-embracing zoning policy citywide, and put funding towards housing with a $250 million affordable housing bond.
“Every development that we do, we have to give retention of the surrounding residents equal consideration,” Dickens said in an interview about the state of gentrification. Moore, similarly, wants to address income inequality, stabilize neighborhoods, and increase density in specific communities.
“Gentrification, unfortunately, is a product of what’s happening in the market, and so the best that we can do is to try to keep our legacy residents on their properties as long as we possibly can,” Moore said.
Moore took the Northside and performed well on the Eastside. Reed took most precincts on the westside and southside, Dickens took many votes away from Reed in southwest Atlanta and outperformed Reed in the Eastside. This strategy allowed Dickens to jump into second place, qualifying him for the runoff.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Moore received 40.8% of the vote, Dickens with 23%, and Reed with 22.4%.