Winslow Draws Challenger, Torry Lewis, in Atlanta District 4 Race


(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow (District 4) has drawn a challenger in this year’s Municipal Elections, Torry Lewis.

Winslow has a current score of 35.71 out of 100 on the APN Atlanta City Council Scorecard, which is based on over thirty Council votes, and she is one of the least progressive Members of the Council, in 11th place.  

The only Councilmembers less progressive than Winslow are, in order, Aaron Watson (Post 2-at-large), Howard Shook (District 7), Ivory Young (District 3), and Keisha Lance Bottoms (District 11).

Lewis, 29, lives in Atlanta’s West End community.  He was born in Atlanta at Grady Hospital, according to his website, but he moved to Norcross as a child.

In 2006 and 2008, he challenged and almost unseated State Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Norcoss).

Lewis is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Clark Atlanta University and is working on his PhD there.  He has a BA from Savannah State University and an MPA from Kennesaw State University.

He also has a small business called Spire Property Partners that provides facility services such as janitorial work and landscaping.

Lewis said he opposes establishing a limit on public comment at all City Council Committee Meetings, a proposal that Winslow has co-sponsored.

“It’s ridiculous to me,” Lewis said of the proposed public comment limit.

“That’s one of my issues.  You know, the bottom line is, you have some people who want to just go on rambling.  You can’t say since you don’t want to hear rambling, so you don’t want to hear anybody,” Lewis said.

“Your job is to listen to the people, and that is a fundamental element of democracy, to represent the people, you have to listen to them,” Lewis said.

“We really need to do something about blight in our community,” Lewis said.

“My concern is the lack of direct representation for our district,” Lewis said, citing, “simple things like keeping the grass cut in the West End.”

“We have businesses that don’t want to invest just because of the aesthetics, it’s an issue,” Lewis said.

Lewis said that he had seen in Norcross, “the Council said I want a Starbucks, they took their political influence and try to get certain business.”

Lewis said he talked to a business owner who said, “she [Winslow] hasn’t done anything for us in twelve years.”

Lewis said that WInslow’s strategy is to “do what we need to do the satisfy the public and appease them so they’re not all against me, rather than let’s make this a better community.”

In 2009, Winslow won reelection in a crowded field, but was later fined by the City of Atlanta’s Board of Ethics for using her Council Office funds for political campaign events.

“She does have name recognition, that’s the thing going for her in 2009.  She was cited for ethics violations at the end of the last campaign to get her name out there more.  She understands she’s vulnerable and we’re going to take advantage,” he said.

“In these positions, you have be very, very proactive.  You have to have a plan, you have to go after it.  You don’t just go to meetings all day and bring nothing to the table and try to shut people up,” he said.

Previously, LaShawn Hoffman told APN that he had not decided whether or not to run again against Winslow in 2013; however, Hoffman has made no announcement either way since then.

In addition, APN previously reported by Kwabena Nkromo planned to run for the District 4 seat.  Since then, Nkromo has run for two other seats, including on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education and in the State House of Representatives.  Nkromo has also made no announcement about District 4.

So far candidates who are running include:

District 1 (incumbent Carla Smith): Robert Welsh

District 2 (incumbent Kwanza Hall): Jon Jones, Todd Robinson

District 3 (incumbent Ivory Young): Rev. Darrien Fletcher

District 4 (incumbent Cleta Winslow): Torry Lewis.

District 5 (incumbent Natalyn Archibong): Matt Rinker

District 6 (incumbent Alex Wan): None to date.

District 7 (incumbent Howard Shook): None to date.

District 8 (incumbent Yolanda Adrean): None to date.

District 9 (incumbent Felicia Moore): None to date.

District 10 (incumbent CT Martin): None to date.

District 11 (incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms): None to date.

District 12 (incumbent Joyce Sheperd): None to date.

Post 1-at-large (incumbent Michael Julian Bond): None to date.

Post 2-at-large (incumbent Aaron Watson): None to date

Post 3-at-large (incumbent Lamar Willis): former State Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta), Shelitha Robertson