Atlanta mayor’s second round: Moore hopes to avoid Dickens | WGN 720 radio
ATLANTA (AP) – Voters in Atlanta decide on a run-off Tuesday between a candidate who is as comfortable as a lone wolf and a candidate who has made new friends as his support has grown.
Current city council president Felicia Moore proclaims her independence a virtue, and a plurality of voters agreed in the first ballot on November 2, giving her 41% of the vote in a non-partisan field of 14 candidates. But fellow city council member Andre Dickens said Moore’s record as a sometimes lonely critic of previous mayors proves he would be a more effective mayor, as he tries to win a race where he started. well back on the ground.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she would not run for a second term, creating a wide open race to succeed her. That successor could have been the former two-term mayor Kasim Reed, but he finished third just behind Dickens after being dogged by corruption in his previous administration, although Reed said he was clean himself.
Moore entered the race even before Bottoms stepped down, saying becoming mayor was the best way to resolve complaints she received about crime and city services. Moore argues that her willingness to go against the grain proves that she is someone who will bring accountability and transparency to city government.
“I entered this race at a time when no one else had the courage to do it, to move the city forward, to help us at a time when we certainly have critical issues ahead of us,” Moore said. during a debate on November 16. . “I want to be our next mayor because I can make these tough decisions. “
But Dickens portrayed Moore as an opponent, someone who was unable to work with others.
“You still can’t find a way to say yes,” Dickens said during the debate. “Real leadership is about rolling up your sleeves and finding a way to say yes. “
Dickens has garnered numerous mentions. He already had the green light from former Mayor Shirley Franklin before November 2. Since then, he has garnered the support of Bottoms, President of the United States and the Georgia Democratic Party, Nikema Williams, County Attorney Fulton Fani Willis and Sharon Gay, a lawyer who finished fourth in the 2 November.
Like many cities across the country, Atlanta has faced an increase in the number of murders. As of Nov. 7, homicides were up 10% from the same period last year and 59% from 2019, according to Atlanta Police data. Several of these murders have drawn attention.
Moore and Dickens both focused on getting more officers to the streets quickly. But they differ in some other details. Moore said she would seek a new police chief immediately, while Dickens said he could keep current chief Rodney Bryant, who came out of retirement in 2020 after a former chief resigned over ‘a fatal shootout against a black man which led to unrest.
Dickens said he was ready to let Fulton County temporarily use a nearly empty city jail to relieve overcrowding, while Moore said she would consider letting the county resume jail permanently.
Dickens voted for a failed measure that would have withheld a third of the police department’s budget until the mayor came up with a plan to overhaul the police department. Moore, who only votes when the board is tied, said she opposed the measure and accused Dickens of promoting police funding. Dickens denies that was his goal.
Some opponents of Moore attacked her as the favorite of white voters, a common tactic in a city where white and black voters are often divided by income and geography. Moore and Dickens are both black and Moore has dismissed the fact that his support should be held against her.
“We are able in the city to start bringing people together,” Moore said recently, arguing that she is “someone who can talk across divides, someone who can talk to people on the streets. as well as to the suites “.
Moore said his support for the wealthiest and whitest section called Buckhead would be a trump card in an attempt to quell a secession movement in the region, an effort likely to be of concern in the first year of the mayor’s next term.
Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.
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