Mr. Dickens and Felicia Moore had precocious to the runoff predetermination by beating erstwhile Mayor Kasim Reed.
Nov. 30, 2021, 10:38 p.m. ET
ATLANTA — Andre Dickens, a seasoned City Council member, was elected politician of Atlanta successful an upset connected Tuesday nighttime aft promising voters that helium would assistance usher the metropolis successful a much equitable direction.
Mr. Dickens, 47, volition measurement into 1 of the astir high-profile governmental positions successful the South aft defeating Felicia Moore, 60, the City Council president, successful Tuesday’s runoff election.
In a archetypal circular of voting, Ms. Moore had bested Mr. Dickens by much than 17 percent points. But connected Tuesday, Mr. Dickens had astir 62 percent of the ballot erstwhile The Associated Press declared him the victor astatine astir 10:30 p.m.
The mayor’s contention unfolded astatine a clip of committedness and peril for Atlanta. The city’s colonisation grew 17 percent successful the past decade, to astir 499,000 people, and a fig of large exertion companies are expanding their footprint successful the metropolis successful hopes of expanding diversity, fixed that astir fractional of metropolis residents are Black.
But similar galore U.S. cities, Atlanta has been struggling with spikes successful a fig of violent transgression categories, including murder. In May, the city’s governmental aboriginal was thrown into uncertainty erstwhile Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would not tally for re-election aft a archetypal word successful which she was forced to woody with the coronavirus pandemic, a high-profile constabulary shooting of a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, and radical justness protests that occasionally became violent.
As different killings rocked the city, public information emerged arsenic the cardinal issue successful the mayor’s race, giving an aboriginal boost to erstwhile Mayor Kasim Reed, who argued that his acquisition made him uniquely qualified to solve the transgression problem. But Mr. Reed, who near bureau successful 2018, besides brought important governmental baggage, with galore members of his medication convicted oregon indicted connected national corruption-related charges.
Mr. Reed’s analyzable past was a apt origin successful the astonishment result successful the archetypal balloting, erstwhile Mr. Dickens nudged retired the better-known Mr. Reed to unafraid a spot successful the runoff against the first-place finisher, Ms. Moore.
Since then, Mr. Dickens and Ms. Moore endeavored to separate themselves successful the nonpartisan race, contempt the information they are some wide Democrats who stock galore of the aforesaid argumentation goals.
Both supported hiring much constabulary officers, encouraging the betterment of constabulary civilization and expanding Atlanta’s banal of affordable housing.
Both candidates besides opposed a arguable effort to let Buckhead, an upscale, majority-white neighborhood, to secede from Atlanta, taking with it a important chunk of the city’s taxation base. This imaginable divorce, which has been fueled by transgression concerns, would necessitate support by the Republican-dominated State Legislature and a consequent ballot by the neighborhood’s residents. To derail the plan, the adjacent politician volition request to deploy the bully pulpit and prosecute successful nimble and strategical lobbying of Republicans who power the Statehouse.
During the campaign, Ms. Moore, a existent property agent, leaned into her estimation arsenic a thorn successful the broadside of erstwhile mayors, including Mr. Reed. Before helium near office, she argued that helium should beryllium held accountable for the corruption connected his watch. She reminded voters that she backed authorities creating a caller inspector wide for City Hall arsenic good arsenic an autarkic compliance office, some successful absorption to the scandals that dogged the Reed administration.
“I americium really similar the outsider that’s connected the inside, warring against corruption, warring against the presumption quo, sometimes warring the established bid of things,” Ms. Moore told a caller assemblage astatine a mayoral forum.
Mr. Dickens is the main improvement serviceman astatine TechBridge, a nonprofit enactment that uses exertion to assistance amplify the enactment of different nonprofits. During the run helium emphasized his relation successful expanding the minimum wage for metropolis employees, arsenic good arsenic spearheading the instauration of a metropolis proscription department. Mr. Dickens, who was endorsed by Mayor Bottoms and erstwhile Mayor Shirley Franklin, argued successful caller weeks that Ms. Moore had spent much clip criticizing others than racking up her ain achievements implicit the people of her agelong career.
“She does thing and I bash a lot,” Mr. Dickens said successful a caller interview.
Both Ms. Moore and Mr. Dickens are Black. Tuesday’s predetermination extends a streak of Black mayors successful Atlanta since the election of Maynard Jackson successful 1973 contempt a caller influx of achromatic residents that caused the stock of Black residents to diminution from a flimsy bulk to 47 percent of the population, according to an analysis of 2020 Census figures.