Atlanta 2021 Candidate Qualifying Overview
With additional reporting by Adrian Paulette Coleman.
(APN) ATLANTA — On Friday, August 20, 2021, the candidate qualifying period for Atlanta’s November 02, 2021 Municipal Elections closed, including races for the City of Atlanta’s Atlanta’s next Mayor, City Council President, and Councilmembers.
Here is an overview of those candidates:
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
Some fourteen candidates qualified for Mayor of Atlanta, three more than during the 2017 Mayoral race.
Incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms is not running for reelection.
Candidates qualifying are current Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3); current Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens (Post 3-at-large; Nolan English; Sharon Gay; Mark Hammad; Kenny Hill; Rebecca L. King; current City Council President Felicia A. Moore; former Mayor Kasim Reed; Walter Reeves; Roosevelt Searles III; Richard N. Wright; Glen S. Wrightson; and Kirsten Dunn.
Glen Wrightson is the only 2017 Mayoral candidate qualifying again for the 2021 election.
Councilman Dickens has a score of 48.48 on the APN Scorecard, the sixth-highest score out of fifteen.
Councilman Brown has a score of 54.17 on the APN Scorecard, the fourth-highest score out of fifteen.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, Councilman Brown is headed to trial in his federal criminal case, where a magistrate judge recently ruled against Brown’s motion to suppress statements that Brown made to federal investigators.
Recently, Brown, the Mayoral candidate who is legally barred from leaving the United States, recently made a motion to attend his friend’s wedding in Puerto Rico. The judge’s ruling on the motion is under seal.
Brown’s apparent former company, LVL XIII, has apparently ceased operations, and numerous related corporate entities in Georgia have been administratively dissolved.
Brown’s apparent nonprofit organization, Dream of Humanity, has also apparently ceased operations and been administratively dissolved.
Earlier this year, despite community opposition, Brown advocated legislatively for a development project at the former English Avenue School in his District, while the developer’s managing partner, Kevin Patterson, co-hosted a fundraiser for him.
Brown also faces open records civil penalty claims brought by APN’s News Editor for failing to respond to a Feb. 18, 2020 records request.
In that matter, Brown has apparently caused the expenditure of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds in his legal defense, in which he is arguing, against the public interest, that Councilmembers are not custodians of public records.
APN first reported that former Mayor Reed was considering running again.
Five candidates qualified including current Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Mosby Archibong (District 5), former APS BOE Member Courtney English, Sam Manuel, Mike Russell, and Doug Shipman.
Incumbent Council President Felicia A. Moore is running for Mayor.
Councilwoman Archibong has a score of 63.27 on the APN Scorecard, the third-highest score out of fifteen.
In previous years, APN had reported that Councilwoman Archibong was a strong proponent of the right of the public to make meaningful public comments to the Atlanta City Council and its Committees; however, in recent years, Archibong has abandoned the public, supporting specific harmful proposals.
These have included cuts to public comment delegation time from a possible maximum of sixteen minutes per delegation, to ten minutes; cuts to public comment time for former elected officials, from unlimited to two minutes; cuts to public comment time for current elected officials from other bodies, from unlimited to six minutes; and more.
Courtney English, on the other hand, misled the public with regard to his improper uses of APS credit cards while on the Board of Education.
Later, when running against Councilman Bond, Mr. English misled the public again, misrepresenting himself as a homeowner during a forum, later apologizing after APN raised questions about his senior homestead exemption.
Incumbent Michael Julian Bond will face five challengers: Alfred Shivy Brooks; Brandon Cory Goldberg; Todd A. Gray; Jereme D. Sharpe; and Victor D. Tate.
Councilman Bond is the most progressive member of the Atlanta City Council and a strong advocate for public comment. He has a score of 68.24 on the APN Scorecard, the highest score out of fifteen.
He provided his responses to APN’s questionnaire.
Todd A. Gray has provided his questionnaire responses to be published shortly,
Mr. Brooks’s campaign reached out to receive a second copy of the questionnaire, which was sent.
Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Sharpe have failed to respond.
Incumbent Matt Westmoreland will face sole challenger, Sonya Russell-Ofchus.
Councilman Westmoreland currently has a score of forty out of one hundred on the APN Scorecard, putting him in ninth place out of fifteen.
APN sent Westmoreland a questionnaire on Aug. 26, 2021.
Russell-Ofchus does not appear to have filed a declaration of intent or disclosures, despite having qualified.
The five candidates qualifying are Jacki Labat, former State Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta), Jodi Merriday, former State Rep. Keisha “Sean” Waites (D-Atlanta), and Sherry B. Williams.
Incumbent Andre Dickens is running for Mayor of Atlanta.
Jacki Labat is the wife of Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat.
Sherry B. Williams is affiliated with Georgia STAND-UP.
APN has sent questionnaires to all five candidates.
Former State Rep. Waites and Merriday have provided their responses, to be published shortly.
APN sent a questionnaire on August 26, 2021 to former Rep. Long, and in recent weeks to Williams.
Labat has failed to respond to a questionnaire sent several weeks ago.
The five candidates qualifying are Clarence Blalock, Nathan Clubb, Russell Hopson, Kelly-Jeanne Lee, and Jason Winston.
Councilmember Carla Smith announced she would not seek re-election in May 2021.
APN interviewed Blalock, and he has separately provided his questionnaire responses, which we will publish shortly.
Kelly-Jeanne Lee provided her questionnaire responses.
Nathan Clubb requested a questionnaire on Aug. 11, 2021, and APN sent one.
Hopson and Winston were sent questionnaires on Aug. 26, 2021.
Incumbent Amir Farokhi is running unopposed.
Farokhi has a score of 35.1 out of one hundred on the APN Scorecard, and is in twelfth place out of fifteen.
Six candidates qualified, including former APS BOE Member Byron Amos (District 2), Erika Estrada, Brandon Graham, Keona Jones, Elijah Porter, and Ken Wainwright.
Amos has agreed, if elected, to introduce several progressive legislation that are part of APN’s Progressive Policy Platform; and sat down for an early interview with APN.
Estrada completed her APN questionnaire.
Jones completed her APN questionnaire.
Graham completed his questionnaire, although he has made misleading statements, calling himself an NPU leader, when he has never served in an NPU leadership position.
Elijah Porter, despite qualifying, has apparently not filed a declaration or disclosure with the City of Atlanta.
Incumbent Antonio Brown is running for Mayor of Atlanta.
Brown has endorsed Estrada for District 3, Estrada tells APN.
Incumbent Cleta Winslow will face five challengers: Rogelio Arcila; Larry B. Carter, II; Jason Dozier; Kim Scott; and “Sister” DeBorah Williams.
Jason Dozier provided his questionnaire responses.
Larry B. Carter; and Kim Scott, formerly Kimberly Parmer, have provided their questionnaire responses, to be published shortly.
Arcila has not responded.
APN sent Williams her questionnaire on Aug. 26, 2021.
Winslow has a score of 37.5 out of one hundred on the APN Scorecard, putting her in eleventh place out of fifteen.
In recent years, Winslow has made several controversial comments during Council Meetings, Committee Meetings, and Council Retreats.
In Oct. 2018, Winslow referred to Atlantans who make public comments at Atlanta City Council Meetings as “the asylum… run by people who are ill”.
More recently, at the June 14, 2021 Full Council Meeting, Winslow opined that “homeless folk don’t need to be roaming around.”
In a third incident earlier this year, in committee, she spoke over a recording of a public comment, noting that some people have nothing better to do but she does.
Even Winslow’s ethics violations and DUI’s have seemingly never mattered to voters.
Previously, when Winslow resolved major ethics violations in 2012, she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, “I spoil my constituents. I spoil them with food.”
Five candidates qualified: Samuel Bacote, Liliana Bakhtiari, Katie Kissel, Amanda “Mandy” Schmitt Mahoney, and Doug Williams.
APN interviewed Bakhtiari; however, she has not provided her questionnaire responses.
Kissel was sent a questionnaire several weeks ago, but did not respond.
APN sent questionnaires to Bacote, Mahoney, and Williams on Aug. 26, 2021.
Incumbent Natalyn Archibong is running for City Council President.
Incumbent Jennifer Ide announced her decision to not seek re-election days before the start of candidate qualifications.
Four candidates have qualified: Justin Critz, Courtney Jenee DeDi, Kathryn Voelpel, and former Councilman Alex Wan (District 6).
In 2017, Wan ran for Council President and lost to Moore. Then he ran for State House District 57, losing to State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Atlanta), who had just moved to Atlanta from Smyrna.
APN sent a questionnaire to Wan Aug. 26, 2021. No declarations nor disclosures were on file for Critz, DeDi, nor Voelpel.
Incumbent Howard Shook is running unopposed. He has a score of 43.18 out of one hundred on the APN Scorecard, in seventh place out of fifteen.
Incumbent J.P. Matzigkeit announced in Feb. 2021 he would not seek re-election.
Mary Norwood, who twice served as the Post 2-at-large Councilwoman and twice ran for Mayor of Atlanta, is running unopposed for this district seat.
Incumbent Dustin Hillis will face sole challenger, Devin “Barrington” Ward.
Hillis has the lowest score of all fifteen members of the Atlanta City Council on the APN Scorecard, or a 25.7 out of one hundred.
Ward has not responded to APN’s questionnaire, after having received it weeks ago.
APN sent a questionnaire to Hillis on Aug. 26, 2021.
Incumbent Andrea Boone will face challenger Jason Hudgins.
Boone has the second-highest score of all fifteen members of the Atlanta City Council on the APN Scorecard, or a 64.5 out of one hundred.
Boone has provided her questionnaire responses, to be published shortly.
APN sent a questionnaire to Hudgins on Aug. 26, 2021.
Incumbent Marci Collier Overstreet faces sole challenger Ron Shakir.
Overstreet has the fourth-highest score of all fifteen members of the Atlanta City Council on the APN Scorecard, or a 51.43 out of one hundred.
Ron Shakir is a long-time advocate who has attended hundreds of City Council Meetings and Committee Meetings; and a strong advocate for low-income people and for public comment.
APN sent questionnaires to both Overstreet and Shakir on Aug. 26, 2021.
Incumbent Joyce Sheperd faces two challengers: Antonio Lewis and Jenne Shepherd.
Sheperd has the second-lowest score of all fifteen members of the Atlanta City Council on the APN Scorecard, or a 29.9 out of one hundred.
APN sent questionnaires to Sheperd, Shepperd, and Lewis on Aug. 26, 2021.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2021)