Former Vice President Joe Biden. AJC/Hyosub Shin.

Georgia mayor backs Biden’s 2020 prez campaign

Former Vice President Joe Biden picked up support from a metro Atlanta mayor on Thursday, hours before his first appearance on the debate stage with other 2020 White House hopefuls. 

South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards said that he supports Biden because he doesn’t need “on the job training on how to build a stronger economy that works for all of America.” 

“Biden has shown us before that he knows how to deliver multiple results on issues that are important to everyone,” Edwards added.

Edwards, elected to be the new city’s first mayor in 2017, is one of only a handful of Georgia Democratic officials who have picked sides in the 2020 race. 

Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland endorsed Biden shortly after he entered the race, state Rep. Erick Allen has backed U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg has the support of Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi and state Rep. Matthew Wilson.

But most other prominent Democrats are on the sidelines. A recent AJC survey found that hardly any state elected officials, leading Democratic figures and grassroots activists have decided on a candidate in the sprawling field yet. 

It’s not for lack of attention. An AJC analysis shows that major candidates have already made more than a dozen trips to Atlanta, and lesser-known contenders have made it a point to swing by, too.

Biden made his campaign debut in Atlanta earlier this month with a fundraiser that attracted many Democratic officials, including former Gov. Roy Barnes, and a headline-making speech at a gala. 

At that event, Biden said he no longer supported a controversial ban that blocked the use of a federal funds for some abortions – reversing a position that put him at odds with many Democrats and most other 2020 hopefuls. 

Edwards joins several black elected officials who rallied to Biden’s defense after his remarks last week about working with segregationist senators, including Georgia’s Herman Talmadge, provoked withering criticism from some Democrats.

“This election is important and America needs an experienced leader who will restore the soul of this country,” said Edwards, “and I firmly believe Biden is the person for that job." 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.