The Washington Post

Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayor’s race

- — Tim Craig

City Council member Andre Dickens was elected mayor of Atlanta on Tuesday, defeating Council President Felicia A. Moore in a runoff election to decide who will lead the city through a host of challenges, including a surging homicide rate and a shortage of affordable housing.

Dickens, 47, will replace outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who announced in May she would not seek a second term.

Considered a long-shot candidate just a few months ago, Dickens cobbled together a coalition of support from Black voters as well as younger White residents who continue to move into neighborho­ods near the city’s downtown.

During the final days of the campaign, Bottoms endorsed Dickens, a Democrat, calling him a charismati­c and unifying leader who could help the city rebound from the coronaviru­s pandemic.

He also works as the chief developmen­t officer at a local nonprofit agency. Although he has held his citywide council seat since 2013, many voters considered him to be more of an outsider than Moore, who is 60 and has served on the council since 1998.

On the campaign trail, Dickens defended his vote on the council last year to shift resources away from the police department to bolster spending on mental health services. He also touted his push in 2019 to create Atlanta’s first Department of Transporta­tion, which helped him win support from cyclists and environmen­tal activists who saw him as a more visionary leader than Moore.

Tuesday’s runoff was held after none of the 14 candidates in the Nov. 2 election received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Moore, also a Democrat, was the top vote-getter in that election, in which she won 41 percent of the vote. Dickens surprised many pundits by narrowly edging past former mayor Kasim Reed (D), hobbled by ethical controvers­ies within his past administra­tion, to get a spot in the runoff election.

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