Councilman Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayor race over Moore

Nov 29, 2021, 11:01 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2021, 10:55 am
Atlanta mayoral runoff candidate Andre Dickens gives his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in ...

Atlanta mayoral runoff candidate Andre Dickens gives his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. Dickens, a city council member, won the runoff, riding a surge of support that powered him past the council’s current president, Felicia Moore, after finishing second to her in November. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

(AP Photo/Ben Gray)

ATLANTA (AP) — City Council member Andre Dickens won a runoff election Tuesday to become Atlanta’s next mayor, riding a surge of support that powered him past the council’s current president, Felicia Moore, after finishing second to her in November.

Dickens won a campaign dominated by concern over rising violent crime in the city, arguing he would be more effective than Moore, who had often been a sometimes-lonely critic of previous mayors in her 20 years on the City Council. Moore had been the leading candidate by a wide margin in the first round of voting on Nov. 2 among 14 candidates in a nonpartisan race.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms created a wide-open succession race when she announced in May that she wouldn’t seek a second term.

The 47-year-old Dickens, an Atlanta native and engineer by training, joined the council in 2013. He argued that his broad range of experience would allow him to address crime and other city issues including affordable housing and improving opportunity for poorer residents. Other issues in the race included bolstering struggling city services and keeping the wealthy Buckhead neighborhood from seceding.

“We voted for progress and a problem solver, for a bridge builder, for transformation,” Dickens told a crowd of hundreds during his victory speech Tuesday night. “And this work will start right now. We can’t wait any longer to address these issues.”

Dickens went from trailing the pack to take second on Nov. 2 and make the runoff, ending the comeback attempt of two-term former Mayor Kasim Reed, who finished third. That snowballing support continued in the runoff, with endorsements by Bottoms, U.S. Rep. and Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Sharon Gay, an attorney who finished fourth in Nov. 2 voting.

“I draw circles, I don’t draw lines,” Dickens said. “And the circle tonight got real large.”

Like many cities across the country, Atlanta has been dealing with a spike in killings. As of Nov. 13, homicides rose 10% over the same period last year and 57% compared with 2019, Atlanta police data shows. Several of those killings captured widespread attention.

Dickens has pledged to increase the number of police officers, arrest gang leaders and implement community policing. He says he may keep current Police Chief Rodney Bryant, who came out of retirement in 2020 after a previous chief stepped down following a fatal police shooting of a Black man that led to unrest.

Dickens also wants to increase affordable housing, improve infrastructure and ensure current residents qualify for high-paying jobs. He acknowledged the city’s problems Tuesday night, but then pivoted to optimism about the city’s ability to change.

“Like they say, Atlanta influences everything,” Dickens said. “And it’s time that we use that influence to make some real change. 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.”

Moore, 60, made a call for unity in her concession speech, saying there’s no difference between her supporters and Dickens’ because “we’re all camp Atlanta.”

“We have to be called to do the thing that we wanted everyone else to do, and that’s bring this city together,” Moore said, specifically calling on Buckhead residents to work with Dickens and spurn secession and for Dickens to make sure he gives access to all groups.

Alexander Dawes, a 25-year-old Black man, said he voted for Dickens on Tuesday at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. Dickens’ transparency — and his stance on public safety — were key factors in his decision, Dawes said.

Getting more officers on the streets is only part of the solution, he said.

“I think there are multiple approaches to address crime,” Dawes said. “Of course, staffing is important but also having officers present in the community. That’s important to build back that trust between the police and the community.”

Jennifer and Joe Moyers, both 60, said they voted for Moore. She was the candidate who had the most focus on curbing crime, Jennifer Moyers said.

Some of Moore’s critics attacked her as the favorite of white voters, a frequent tactic in a city where many white and Black voters are divided by income and geography. Both Moore and Dickens are Black. Moore dismissed the notion that her support should be held against her.

Moore touted her record to appeal to voters hungry for change and position herself as someone who would bring accountability and transparency to City Hall. But Dickens portrayed Moore as a naysayer and someone who has been unable to work with others.

Dickens currently works for TechBridge, a nonprofit that tries to use technology to aid other charitable groups. Dickens also founded a program to train people for technology work, trying to broaden access to high-paying jobs in Atlanta. He earlier ran a family-owned furniture store chain that collapsed in bankruptcy a decade ago, something that Dickens blamed on the effects of the Great Recession.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Family Leadership Summit, Friday, July 16, 2...
Associated Press

Draft report finds Noem’s daughter got special treatment

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday will consider a legislative report that finds Gov. Kristi Noem’s daughter received preferential treatment while she was applying for a real estate appraiser license in 2020. The Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee last year probed into the certification process for Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters […]
16 hours ago
FILE - A pedestrian walks on a bridge above vehicle traffic in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Nov. 12, ...
Associated Press

Global pollution kills 9 million people a year, study finds

A new study blames pollution of all types for 9 million deaths a year globally, with the death toll attributed to dirty air from cars, trucks and industry rising 55% since 2000. That increase is offset by fewer pollution deaths from primitive indoor stoves and water contaminated with human and animal waste, so overall pollution […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn gestures at a news conference in Medford, Mass., Ma...
Associated Press

US sues casino mogul Steve Wynn over relationship with China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department sued longtime Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn on Tuesday to compel him to register as a foreign agent because of lobbying work it says he performed at the behest of the Chinese government during the Trump administration. The department said it had advised Wynn repeatedly over the last […]
16 hours ago
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, left, listens to Deputy patrol agent in charge of t...
Associated Press

Mayorkas tours border to prepare for asylum limits to end

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that authorities were prepared for an anticipated increase in migrants crossing the border from Mexico, days before a public health order is set to end after being used to turn people away nearly 2 million times without a chance to seek asylum. A federal […]
16 hours ago
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Tuesday, May 17, 2022...
Associated Press

Review finds US troops didn’t violate law in Syria airstrike

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. military investigation found that American troops did not violate the law of war or deliberately cause civilian casualties in a 2019 airstrike in Syria that killed dozens of people, including women and children. It did find that the military committed procedural mistakes in the aftermath of the attack. The Pentagon […]
16 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Barrow Neurological Institute

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Councilman Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayor race over Moore