Atlanta mayoral runoff: Moore hopes to stave off Dickens

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Atlanta voters are deciding Tuesday a mayoral runoff between a candidate who is comfortable as a lone wolf and a candidate who has gained a slew of new friends as his support increases.

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Current city council president Felicia Moore declared her independence as a virtue, and a plurality of voters agreed in the first round of voting on 2 November, giving her 41% of the vote in a nonpartisan field of 14 candidates. . But fellow city council member Andre Dickens says Moore’s record as the sometimes lone critic of past mayors proves he will be a more effective mayor, as he tries to win a race where he has won the field. I had a good start.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she would not seek a second term, creating a wide-open race to succeed her. That successor could have been two-time former mayor Qasim Reid, but he finished third behind Dickens after being engulfed by corruption in his previous administration, although Reid himself said he was clean.


Moore jumped into the race before Bottoms bowed, saying that becoming mayor was the best way to address the complaints he was receiving about crime and the city’s services. Moore argues that his willingness to go against the grain proves that he is someone who will bring accountability and transparency to city government.

Moore said during the November 16 debate, “I entered the race at a time when no one else had the courage to do so, to help move the city forward, to help us, when of course before us.” There are important issues.” , “I want to be our next mayor because I can make those tough decisions.”

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But Dickens portrays Moore as a negative person who has been unable to work with others.

“You don’t get any way of saying yes constantly,” Dickens said during the debate. “Real leadership looks like rolling up your sleeves and finding a way to say yes.”

Dickens has garnered a variety of endorsements. Even before November 2, he had received the approval of former Mayor Shirley Franklin. Since then, she has been supported by Bottoms, US Rep. and Democratic Party of Georgia chairperson Nikema Williams, Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis, and Sharon Gay, an attorney. Finished fourth in November 2 polling.

Like many cities across the country, Atlanta is also dealing with a rise in homicides. Data from Atlanta Police shows that as of November 7, homicides have increased by 10% compared to the same period last year and by 59% compared to 2019. Many of those murders garnered widespread attention.

Both Moore and Dickens have focused on getting more officers on the road quickly. But they differ on some other details. Moore has said she will seek a new police chief immediately, while Dickens has said he may hire current Chief Rodney Bryant, who came out of retirement in 2020 after a previous chief killed a black man. The police had left the post after the shooting. unrest

Dickens has said she is willing to let Fulton County use the mostly vacant city jail temporarily to relieve overcrowding, while Moore said she would consider letting the county take over the prison permanently.

Dickens voted for a failed measure that would have withheld a third of the police department’s budget until the mayor came up with a plan to overhaul the police department. Moore, who only votes when the council is bound, said she opposed the measure and accused Dickens of favoring police protection. Dickens denies that was his intention.

Some of Moore’s opponents attack him as a favorite of white voters, a consistent tactic in a city where white and black voters are often divided by income and geography. Both Moore and Dickens are black, and Moore has denied that their support should be against them.

Moore recently said, “We are in a position in the city to begin to bring people together, arguing that he is “someone who can speak to the divide, who along the streets.” Can also talk to people in suites.

Moore said his support of the wealthy, white class called Buckhead would be an asset in trying to quell a secession movement in the area, the first year of the next mayor’s term likely to be busy.


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