Moore and Reed were the first candidates to qualify Tuesday morning. At the time, their supporters clashed in the rain waving signs and chanting over one another.
The scene for Dickens’ qualification was calmer Tuesday afternoon. He stood with his mother and supporters in the rain as he promised to be “the jobs mayor” who will make Atlanta safer and more affordable.
“This election is about the soul of Atlanta,” Dickens said.
Gay qualified with a smaller entourage on Tuesday. Gay said she understands the fanfare, but she’s more focused on doing the work of meeting with people to discuss “things they care about,” such as public safety.
“Talking to voters about what’s important to them is the most gratifying part of all of this,” Gay said.
Kirsten Dunn, Nolan English, Mark Hammad, Kenny Hill, Rebecca L. King, Walter Reeves, Roosevelt Searles III, Glenn S. Wrightson, and Richard N. Wright also qualified in the race to become Atlanta’s 61st mayor.
Candidates had from Tuesday through Friday to file paperwork and pay the $5,529 fee for their names to appear on the ballot. They could also qualify as a “pauper” with a petition signed by at least 1% of the city’s eligible voters.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to not seek reelection upended this year’s race. Four years ago, 11 candidates vied to replace two-term Mayor Reed a race that cost more than $10 million.