Atlanta candidates qualify: 14 will run in Nov. 2 mayor’s race

08/20/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — City Councilman Antonio Brown leaves the Atlanta City Council office with paperwork he will file that will allow him to qualify for the November 2nd Atlanta mayoral election at Atlanta City Hall, Friday, August 20, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
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08/20/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — City Councilman Antonio Brown leaves the Atlanta City Council office with paperwork he will file that will allow him to qualify for the November 2nd Atlanta mayoral election at Atlanta City Hall, Friday, August 20, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Atlanta’s Nov. 2 mayoral ballot is set and 14 candidates are running for the office, according to the final qualifying list released by city officials Friday.

Councilman Antonio Brown was one of the last candidates to qualify on Friday, solidifying a showdown among the city’s five leading mayoral candidates — Brown, councilman Andre Dickens, attorney Sharon Gay, council president Felicia Moore and former mayor Kasim Reed.

Dickens, Gay, Moore and Reed qualified earlier in the week.

But Brown said the race isn’t about him or the other candidates. Instead, he said, “this is about the residents of the city of Atlanta that have been left behind for far too long.”

“This is a moment in time for Atlanta to wake up and to shift the entire trajectory of leadership in this city,” Brown said.

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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.

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Roosevelt Searles posed for a photograph after he filed paperwork that qualifies him for the November 2nd Atlanta mayoral election at Atlanta City Hall, Friday, August 20, 2021. (Wilborn Nobles/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Wilborn Nobles

Roosevelt Searles posed for a photograph after he filed paperwork that qualifies him for the November 2nd Atlanta mayoral election at Atlanta City Hall, Friday, August 20, 2021. (Wilborn Nobles/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
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Roosevelt Searles posed for a photograph after he filed paperwork that qualifies him for the November 2nd Atlanta mayoral election at Atlanta City Hall, Friday, August 20, 2021. (Wilborn Nobles/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Wilborn Nobles

Credit: Wilborn Nobles

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.

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