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Mayor Reed Wins Easily Dickens Upsets Willis

By Stan Washington | 11/8/2013, 6 a.m.
Voters in Atlanta kicked out three long-term incumbents Tuesday, Nov. 5, in a low-key political race that saw Mayor Kasim ...
No Stress. No Worry: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, right, stands by his campaign manager Meredith Lilly, bottom, while tracking election returns in a campaign room before making an appearance at his election night celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, in Atlanta. Reed easily defeated three unknown challengers. Photo by Curtis Compton AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Although, the mayor supported his opponent, Dickens said he is looking forward to working with Reed and his fellow council members.

“I am respectful of Mayor Reed. I’m respectful of the Office of Mayor,” Dickens said. “We are elected to be good leaders. The future of Atlanta depends upon us effectively communicating and working together. Right now my ears are open and my hand is extended and I would hope that his is also.”

Dickens will spend his first few weeks in office getting to know his colleagues and learning the system, he said.

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Mary Norwood reclaimed the seat she gave up to run for mayor.

The other closely watched council race was between Mary Norwood and Aaron Watson. Norwood was successful in reclaiming the Post 2 At-large seat she vacated in order to run for mayor three years ago. Former Atlanta School Board member Aaron Watson won the vacated seat, but his 47 percent in the election was not enough for him to retain it.

Norwood could very well be setting herself up for another run for mayor at the end of Reed’s term. She only lost by 717 votes, when she ran against Reed. Early speculation says if she does run for mayor, she will probably face two council members who were both re-elected without opposition, Ceasar Mitchell, who was re-elected as president of the Atlanta City Council and Kwanzaa Hall of District 2.

Also beating back opposition were: Councilmembers Ivory Young, Michael J. Bond, Carla Smith, Natalyn Archibong, Alex Wan, Howard Shook, Yalanda Adrean. Felecia Moore and Keisha L. Bottoms.

Defying pundits’ predications and analysis that her personal problems (a DUI charge) had made her and easy target, the voters of council District 4 sent Cleta Winslow back for a fifth time as their representative. Winslow garnered nearly 69 percent of the vote over Torry Lewis.

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Political newcomer Leslie Grant scored an upset victory over incumbent Brenda Muhammad for a seat on the Atlanta Board of Education.

Atlanta Board of Education

With four incumbents not running for re-election, four new members were guaranteed to be elected to the Atlanta Board of Education. The one surprise was the defeat of long time incumbent Brenda Muhammad. Leslie Grant is the new representative from District 1. The Grant Park resident and mother of two children in APS schools is a political neophyte but has been involved with education on the community level.

Run-offs are on tap for Districts 5 and 6. District 5, an open seat will see a run-off between Steven Lee and Mary L. Parker. D. Byrd and E. Collins came out on top in a tight four-candidate race in the 6th district. Matt Westmoreland ran unopposed in District 3. Byron D. Adams was unopposed in District 2. Incumbent Nancy M. Meister was re-elected in District 4.

East Point Races

During a TV news report last month, a resident of East Point said the southern suburb is on track to become the “Detroit of Georgia,” in reference to the city’s financial situation.

Voters in East Point decided it was time for new leadership sending Mayor Ernestine Pittman and council member Marcel Reed home. Pittman came in third in a four-candidate race. Jannquell Peters and Clyde K. Mitchell will meet in a run-off to see who will save the troubled city. Nanette Saucier will replace Reed in the Ward C at large seat.

Also, in a run-off for an at-Large seat will be D. H. Ingraham and J. Slaugther-Gibbons. Incumbent Sharonda Hubbard will face Sharon Shopshire in a run-off for the Ward A at-Large seat.

Other Fulton County mayors re-elected were Jere Wood in Rosewell, Mike Bodker in Johns Creek, and Mario Avery in Fairburn. Vince Williams will be the new mayor in Union City and Rusty Paul will sit in the big chair in Sandy Springs.

Only nine percent of the voters bothered to vote for the extension of a one-cent SPLOST referendum in Gwinnett County. The funds will go towards road improvements and school safety. Clayton County also approved a SPLOST for education by 69 percent margin.

The city of Marietta in Cobb County approved a bond referendum by a 54 percent margin.

The city of Palmetto in Fulton County will no longer be dry on Sundays. A measure to allow Sunday alcohol sales was approved by a vote of 239 to 161. Dacula in Gwinnett had an even closer vote, Sunday sales were approved by a vote of 88-87.