Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown joins mayoral race

05/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — Supporters cheer as Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown announces his run for Atlanta mayor during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall in Atlanta, Friday, May 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Caption
05/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — Supporters cheer as Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown announces his run for Atlanta mayor during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall in Atlanta, Friday, May 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown has filed paperwork with the Georgia Campaign Finance Commission that will allow him to begin raising funds in this year’s race to become the city’s 61st mayor.

The filing comes days after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced her decision to not seek a second term.

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Atlanta’s Office Of Municipal Clerk told The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that Brown submitted his paperwork on Friday, hours after Bottoms appeared in City Hall to answer questions about her decision.

Brown could formally announce his candidacy, managed by his “Committee to Reimagine Atlanta Together,” as soon as Friday.

ExploreRace for Atlanta City Hall: Councilman Antonio Brown considering mayoral run

Brown joins two other candidates: City Council President Felicia Moore and attorney Sharon Gay, who used to serve as former deputy chief of staff to former mayor Bill Campbell.

Moore said in a statement Wednesday that her campaign will continue to focus on ways Atlanta can keep neighborhoods safer. Regardless of who joins the race, she said, she plans to increase transparency and accountability in the mayor’s office to ensure the city is providing basic city services.

“No entrant into this race can match my hands-on experience and the time I have invested in creating a knowledge base that can help us address these critical issues from day one when I take office,” Moore said in a statement.

Gay declined to comment on this story.

With Bottoms solely focused on leading the city, several new candidates are expected to enter, and rumors are swirling that former Mayor Kasim Reed will soon vie for his old post. Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman has also said she is considering a run for mayor.

05/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown greets a supporter before announcing his bid for Atlanta mayor during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall in Atlanta, Friday, May 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Caption
05/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown greets a supporter before announcing his bid for Atlanta mayor during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall in Atlanta, Friday, May 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Brown is currently under indictment on several federal fraud charges. Prosecutors say the councilman lied about his income on applications to obtain loans and credit cards used for personal purchases. All of the alleged incidents occurred years before he won the council seat in 2019.

Brown previously declined to comment on the specifics of the pending case, but said in a statement through his attorneys last month that he is “thankful for the three amazing female attorneys who are fighting to prove my innocence. In the meantime I will continue to fight for the people of Atlanta.”

Since being on Council, Brown has taken on somewhat of an anti-establishment posture, advocating for progressive ideals and sometimes publicly criticizing Bottoms and her administration.

He recently pushed the Council to unanimously pass a resolution urging the Atlanta Police Department to revise its policy that requires officers to intervene if they see a colleague violating the law or department rules. Mayor Bottoms signed an administrative order last June directing the police department to adopt one.

Although Brown could face criticism for his relative lack of political experience, he previously dismissed that as outdated thinking and said he has passed, sponsored and cosponsored more than 60 forms of legislation in just two years on Council.

Brown previously told the AJC that Atlanta needs more proactive leadership. He proposed hiring a Public Safety Commissioner and a “non Emergency response unit” to handle mental health situations so that officers can focus more on violent crime.

He also said he wants to create an entrepreneurial program to teach young people how to use their creativity “to see beyond their environments and conditions.”

“We can truly reimagine Atlanta into what it should be,” Brown said last month. “I truly believe I can make a difference.”

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

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