Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens announces run for mayor

April 22, 2019 - Atlanta - Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council member. Bob Andres /

April 22, 2019 - Atlanta - Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council member. Bob Andres /

Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens is the latest person to throw his name into a growing pool of candidates in this year’s mayoral election.

The councilman told supporters on Twitter Thursday afternoon that he’s dedicated his life to improving Atlanta and serving its residents, and he’s running to ensure the city’s government works for everyone. He released a statement elaborating on his decision and his plans to make public safety his first priority as mayor.

“We will not have a prosperous or equitable Atlanta until we have a safe Atlanta,” said Dickens, who is planning to officially launch his campaign with a citywide tour next week.

Dickens is the second councilman to enter the race just days after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced her decision to not seek a second term. Fellow councilman Antonio Brown last Friday filed paperwork to begin raising funds for his own campaign.

Other candidates in the race are City Council President Felicia Moore and attorney Sharon Gay, who used to serve as former deputy chief of staff to former mayor Bill Campbell. Former Mayor Kasim Reed told Channel 2 Action News Thursday that he still needs time before deciding if he will run.

Moore said in a statement Thursday that she is still the best candidate in the race due to her years of experience on the council and her knowledge of the issues affecting Atlanta.

Gay didn’t mince words about the recent new candidates in a statement Thursday.

“Unlike the new group of mayoral candidates, I announced my campaign when a politically strong incumbent was still in the mayoral race,” Gay said in a statement. “I thought then, as I do now, that Atlanta desperately needed new leadership. Regardless of the number of candidates in this race, I will run a strong, city-wide campaign to bring to our city the smart, effective, honest, community-focused leadership and public safety that all Atlantans deserve.”

Brown declined to comment on Dickens’ announcement.

Although Dickens was relatively unknown in 2013, he was elected with a 53% lead over incumbent H. Lamar Willis thanks in part to support from former Mayor Shirley Franklin. Dickens was reelected in 2017.

Dickens in 2019 was one of the sponsors of an ordinance to prohibit the misuse of city issued credit cards after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 uncovered inappropriate purchases by members of the Reed administration.

In March, Dickens also successfully sponsored and passed an ordinance to regulate Atlanta’s short-term rental properties.

Dickens has raised over $56,000 since January for his City Council race, but those dollars do not automatically transfer to his mayoral fund. He can refund those donors and ask them to donate to his mayoral campaign.

Dickens, a southwest Atlanta native, serves as the chief development officer for TechBridge, a nonprofit that offers affordable technology and workforce training to other organizations. He also co-founded the Technology Career Program in 2018 to teach people the skills necessary to land jobs in IT fields citywide.

Previously, Dickens served as the assistant director of outreach initiatives for the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Office of Institute Diversity. He also worked as a sales engineer for DSM Engineering Plastics.

At age 28, Dickens co-founded City Living Home Furnishings, which grew into a multi-million dollar retail business with two locations. Dickens ran the company for nine years until 2011.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter J.D. Capelouto contributed to this article.