Surprises as Qualifying Ends in Atlanta, APS Races


(APN) ATLANTA — There were a few surprises Friday, as the Municipal Clerk’s Office wrapped up a full week of qualifying at Atlanta City Hall: several new candidates, a dropout and endorsement, a race switch, and a cliffhanger.



New candidates to pop up during qualifying week include: Rachele Fruit for City Council President; John Paul Michalik for Council District 5; Tracey Austin and Mike Boyle for Council District 6; Ricardo Mosby for Council District 9; Ron Shakir for Council District 11; Michael Jackson for Council District 12; and Ed Johnson for Atlanta Public School Board of Education (APS BOE) At-large Seat 9.



Former State Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta) dropped out of the race and endorsed Andre Dickens in the Post 3-at-large race against incumbent Lamar Willis.



Anne McKenzie switched from the APS BOE At-large seat 9 race to the APS BOE District 6 race.



And Councilman Kwanza Hall (District 2) waited until the last minute to qualify, leaving many to wonder if no one would qualify for the seat.  Hall told APN he was exploring options and keeping his options open, presumably to have possibly run for Mayor.



Here is the rundown of the final list of who are in the various races:






Mayor Kasim Reed is running for reelection and is being challenged by Al Bartell, a frequent speaker at Atlanta City Hall, who has not otherwise run a very visible campaign; as well as Fraser Duke and Glenn Wrightson, two unknowns.

Chef Paul Luna had previously said he would challenge Reed, but after a series of articles in APN in which he looked silly for falsely accusing a City employee of not responding to an Open Records request, Luna backed out of the race.






Ceasar Mitchell is running for reelection and is being challenged by Rachele Fruit, who just entered the race.






Carla Smith is running for reelection and is being challenged by Bill Powell and Robert Welsh.  Welsh has been running a strong campaign.



APN interviewed Welsh in February 2013:






Kwanza Hall is running for reelection and has no opposition.  Earlier in the race, Hall had an announced opponent named Todd Robinson, who dropped out of the race.






Ivory Young is running for reelection and is being challenged by Patricia Crayton and Rev. Darrion Fletcher.  Fletcher has been running a strong campaign.  



APN interviewed Fletcher in March 2013:






Cleta Winslow is running for reelection and is being challenged by Torry Lewis and Sister DeBorah Williams.  Lewis has been running a strong campaign.



APN interviewed Lewis in February 2013:



APN reviewed Winslow’s ethical issues in May and June 2013:






Natalyn Archibong is being challenged by Christian Enterkin; Jon Jones, who has no qualms with the incumbent but is running to promote his Internet-based digital democracy concept; John Paul Michalik; and Matt Rinker.  Rinker, the first challenger to enter the race, has been quiet in recent weeks.  Meanwhile, Michalik is the newest; he has made occasional public comment at City Hall and took a special interest in opposing street renaming.






Alex Wan is being challenged by Tracey Austin and Mike Boyle, two new entries into the race.  Briefly, Wan also faced an announced challenge from Michael Morrison, the owner of the Inserection adult novelty stores.






Howard Shook is being challenged by Abid Haque and Bobby Montgomery.  Montgomery filed paperwork to raise money several months ago, but did not respond to an inquiry from APN at the time and did not raise any money since then, as of the last disclosure period.






Yolanda Adrean is running for reelection and does not face opposition.






Felicia Moore is running for reelection and faces opposition from Ricardo Mosby and Duwon Robinson.  APN received an email from Robinson, who also goes by the name Qutez Weems, in June 2013 that was grammatically dreadful and in which Robinson misspelled his own last name.  



According to Moore, Mr. Mosby is the Mayor’s candidate against Moore.  Mayor Reed does not particularly care for Moore serving on the Council because she is one of the only Councilmembers to bring significant oversight to his legislative agenda.  



Mosby is of no relation to State Rep. Howard Mosby (D-DeKalb) or Councilwoman Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Archibong tells APN.






CT Martin is running for opposition and has no reelection.






Keisha Lance Bottoms is running for reelection and is being challenged by activist, talkshow host, and frequent public commenter at City Council, Ron Shakir.  Shakir told APN months ago that he would enter the race if no one else did because he could not stand to see Bottoms–the least progressive Member of the Council–go unchallenged.






Joyce Sheperd is running for reelection and is being challenged by Michael Jackson [not the late singer and King of Pop].






Michael Julian Bond is running for reelection and faces no opposition.






Aaron Watson is running for reelection and is being challenged by former Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is running for her old seat.  



Previously, David Andrew Cox had announced against Watson, but dropped out in recent weeks, telling APN that he was having a difficult time getting people interested in the race.  Cox did not have much of a platform, however, which made it difficult to distinguish himself from the incumbent.



APN interviewed Norwood yesterday:






Lamar Willis is running for reelection and is being challenged by Andre Dickens.  Dickens is being supported by former Mayor Shirley Franklin.  Shelitha Robertson, who almost unseated Willis in 2009, had said she would run for the seat but changed her mind.  Former State Rep. Ralph Long said he would challenge Dickens, but changed his mind, endorsing Dickens.




“I read a candidate interview in the Atlanta Progressive News a few weeks ago that raised some policy and political issues that concern me.  While reading the article, I became worried about a particular candidate’s responses and whether he was going to be able to make his way across the finish line against the legally troubled, unethical incumbent in this race.  Atlanta deserves better than the City Councilmember we have, an incumbent with immense professional and legal baggage.  Further, all Atlantans should be concerned that our Mayor would rather support the reelection of a known crook who he can control over an honest man who he cannot control,” Rep. Long said in a statement to supporters.



“I took initial steps towards entering the race for Atlanta City Council, Post 3 At-Large because I could not sit by and watch us reelect a City Councilmember and attorney who will soon be disbarred for actions that are probably criminal,” Long said.



“Over the course of the past couple of weeks, however, through phone calls to my friends, one-on-one conversations with another candidate in this race and his campaign manager, and a delightful interaction with the candidate’s mother, I am thoroughly impressed by what I’ve seen from this individual… There is already an honest, talented, committed person running to rerpesent [sic] us on the City Council, Post 3 At-Large.  His name is Andre Dickens, he will have my vote in November and I would encourage you to vote for him, too,” Long wrote.



APN covered Willis’s pending disbarment recommendation before the Supreme Court of Georgia in August 2013:



APN covered Willis’s latest ethical issues in June 2013:



APN interviewed Dickens in August 2013:






Brenda Muhammad is running for reelection and is being challenged by Leslie Grant.



APN interviewed Grant in May 2013:



APN interviewed Muhammad in June 2013:






Byron Amos is running for reelection and faces no opposition.  Amos was elected in a 2011 Special Election.






Matt Westmoreland is running for a vacant seat currently held by Cecily Harsch-Kinnane.  Westmoreland is backed by former Mayor Franklin.  APN interviewed Westmoreland in June 2013:



And regarding Teach for America’s political agenda in August 2013:






Nancy Meister is running for reelection and is being challenged by Taryn Chilivis Bowman.






Steven Lee, Charles Lawrence, Mary Palmer, Raynard Johnson, and Kathy Green are running for a vacant seat currently held by LaChandra Butler Burks.  Lee is backed by Councilman Martin.



APN interviewed Lee and exposed his fake PhD in August 2013:



APN interviewed Johnson in May 2013:






Eshe Collins, Anne McKenzie, Dell Byrd, and Shawnna Hayes-Tavares are running for a vacant seat currently held by Yolanda Johnson.  McKenzie recently switched to the District 6 race; she had previously run for At-large seat 9 because Hayes-Tavares asked her not to run for District 6.  However, McKenzie switched to District 6 following recent revelations about Hayes-Tavares published by APN.  Collins is backed by former Mayor Franklin.



APN interviewed McKenzie, when she was running for the At-large Seat 9, in July 2013:



APN interviewed Hayes-Tavares in February 2013:



APN uncovered Hayes-Tavares’s arrest record and PTA financial mismanagement issues in August 2013:



APN uncovered Hayes-Tavares’s fake commenter scheme in August 2013 as well:






Courtney English is running for reelection and is being challenged by Nisha Simama.



APN interviewed Simama in August 2013:






Reuben McDaniel is running for reelection and is being challenged by Cynthia Briscoe-Brown, Mark Riley, Tom Tidwell, and Dave Walker.  Walker is known for his homophobic and end-of-times rants during public comment at Atlanta City Council.  In a recent speech, Walker said he was challenging McDaniel because Walker does not like the idea of two men kissing, although it is not clear what that has to do with APS, or McDaniel for that matter.



APN interviewed Briscoe-Brown, Riley, and Tidwell in July 2013:



APN interviewed McDaniel in July 2013:






Eddie Lee Brewster, James Esteves, Lori James, Ed Johnson, and Sean Norman are running for the vacant seat currently held by Emmett Johnson.  Ed Johnson is a concerned citizen who frequently sends mass emails to APS stakeholders regarding APS’s accreditation, systems thinking, and his concerns about charter schools.



APN interviewed Esteves as part of our Teach for America coverage in August 2013:




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