As qualifying began Tuesday for the race to succeed Kasim Reed as mayor, the first to leave the field has already announced.
Perennial candidate Elbert “Al” Bartell said he was discontinuing his bid for Atlanta mayor and instead will run for U.S. Senate in 2020.
“As an independent public policy leader, I intend to run for U.S. Senator in the state of Georgia in the 2020 election cycle, starting today,” he said in a release. “The environment is the most important public policy conversation in America. I want to champion the environmental movement in the dawn of the 21st century.”
Several major candidates are expected to qualify for mayor Tuesday, including Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.
The Mitchell campaign said Mitchell, who planned to qualify this morning, will hold a rally at 10:30 a.m. at 501 Pulliam Street. Guests will include former Atlanta Mayor Andy Young, civil rights leader C.T. Vivian and broadcaster Frank Ski.
Norwood said in a press release that she will file around 12:30 p.m. and then return to her campaign headquarters for press availability to avoid campaigning on City Hall grounds.
Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore, who is running to become the next City Council President, also is expected to qualify early on Tuesday.