Former Mayor Bill Campbell May Run for Atlanta Council Seat (UPDATE 1)
UPDATE 1: Tom Houck, a close friend of Campbell’s, tells Atlanta Progressive News that he has no reason to believe that Campbell is running for office. He said he has never heard Campbell even talk about running.
(APN) Former Mayor of Atlanta Bill Campbell may return to politics in this year’s Municipal Elections by running for a seat on the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
A reliable source familiar with the matter told APN that Campbell is considering a run, but it is not clear which seat he would run for.
Based on his citywide appearances of late, it appears that Campbell is preparing to run citywide, possibly against Council President Ceasar Mitchell or for an at-large seat.
This information only confirmed the suspicions of Ben Howard, a senior advocate who previously told APN that Campbell attended about two months ago an Empowerment Session with 150 seniors that is regularly held each Monday and is hosted by Irene Richardson of Quality Living Services.
Howard said that in previous election years, when Ms. Richardson has brought in someone to speak with the seniors, that person has gone on to run for office, for example, Shirley Franklin, who went on to serve as Mayor of Atlanta for eight years, from 2002 to 2010.
Campbell served as Mayor of Atlanta from 1994 to 2002.
In 2004, more than two years after he finished serving his term, he was indicted for eleven acts of racketeering that made up one count; three counts of accepting corrupt payments or bribes; and three counts of federal income tax evasion.
Campbell was acquitted on most counts, but he was found guilty of tax evasion by a federal jury in 2006, and was sentenced to thirty months in prison and ordered to pay a six thousand dollar fine and more than 60,000 dollars in back taxes.
Campbell reported to prison on August 21, 2006, and was released on October 24, 2008.
Since then, he has been slowly resurfacing into the political scene.
In 2009 during the Mayoral election, he attended a birthday party for politico Tom Houck, where, according to one observer, the entire crowd shifted towards the door to greet Campbell when he walked in the room.
According to a May 2011 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Campbell had appeared at numerous events, including a jazz festival and a press club event.
In the article, numerous Atlanta politicos spoke highly of Campbell, including Houck, who is said to have encouraged Campbell’s return to public life; and former Atlanta City Councilman Lee Morris.
Houck told the AJC that he attended a jazz festival with Campbell and that people were coming up to Campbell and wanting to talk with him, and were reacting positively to him.
According to the article, Campbell has recently been living in a Midtown highrise.
In September 2011, Campbell participated in a high-profile forum held by Atlanta Magazine with current Mayor Kasim Reed and several former mayors.
One source told APN some time ago that former Mayor Shirley Franklin did not attend the forum because of her displeasure with Reed, who once served as her campaign manager.
In 2012, Campbell attended senior advocate Mattie Jackson’s ninetieth birthday party, where he delivered a speech commending Jackson.
Campbell did not immediately return a voicemail message seeking comment.