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Councilman Andre Dickens Wins Atlanta Mayoral Race

December 1, 2021 by Dan McCue
Councilman Andre Dickens Wins Atlanta Mayoral Race
Newly elected mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens gives his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

ATLANTA — City Council member Andre Dickens prevailed in a runoff election Tuesday and will be Altanta’s next mayor.

Dickens came in second to the city council’s current president, Felicia Moore, in a primary election in November that included 12 other candidates in a nonpartisan contest.

He appears to have bounced back by positioning himself in recent weeks as the candidate in the race with the wide experience needed to address issues ranging from a surge in crime to the desire of wealthy Buckhead residents to secede from the city.

“You voted for progress and a problem solver, for a bridge builder, for transformation,” Dickens told his supporters during his victory speech Tuesday night. 

“And this work will start right now. We can’t wait any longer to address these issues,” he said.

The road to Dickens’ elevation to the mayor’s office was paved six months ago when current Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she wouldn’t seek a second term.

Bottoms eventually endorsed Dickens, as did Rep. Nikema Williams, who also serves as Democratic Party of Georgia chair, and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. 

Among other things, Dickens has promised to increase the police officers on the street and implement community policy to deal with a recent surge in crime, particularly murders.

As of last month, the homicide rate had risen 10% over the same 11-month period last year, and 57% compared to 2019.

Dickens has also said he wants to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city, improve its infrastructure and ensure current residents are qualified and considered for high-paying jobs. 

“Atlanta influences everything and it’s time that we use that influence to make some real change,” Dickens said Tuesday night. “Atlanta needs to show the world that we are leading, that we are leading on public safety, on criminal justice reform, that we are leading on affordable housing and eliminating the inequality that we have.”

In her concession speech, Moore said the time for unity had come after a hard fought campaign.

“We have to bring this city together,” she said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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