Kasim Reed concedes defeat after historic bid for third term as Atlanta mayor

Kasim Reed addresses supporters at an election night party on Tuesday, September 2, 2021. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Caption
Kasim Reed addresses supporters at an election night party on Tuesday, September 2, 2021. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dickens, Moore look ahead to runoff

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed officially ended his bid for a historic third term Thursday, conceding that he finished third and is locked out of the Nov. 30 runoff.

City Council President Felicia Moore and Councilman Andre Dickens will advance, both saying Thursday that they are looking forward to the one-on-one contest.

According to unofficial results, Dickens finished roughly 600 votes ahead of Reed to take the second-place spot, a 0.6% margin. Recounts are allowed by state law if the vote difference is within 0.5%.

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Reed released a statement congratulating Moore and Dickens and thanking his supporters.

“Although my campaign was unsuccessful, I still believe our city’s future is brightest as one that is united,” the former two-term mayor said.

ExploreFull Atlanta election results

He said he entered the race to combat violent crime and make Atlanta safer.

“Like many others, I witnessed the tapestry of diverse communities that make up our city be torn apart by surging levels of violent crime. I ran to ensure that our city could restore its reputation as the economic and cultural engine of the Southeast, where opportunity thrives and everyone has a shot at realizing their dreams,” Reed said.

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He was considered a frontrunner throughout the race, but enough undecided voters turned out for Moore and Dickens to catapult them to the runoff. Moore finished first with about 41% of the vote, followed Dickens at 23% and Reed at about 22%. The Associated Press called that Moore made the runoff late Tuesday; the Dickens call came at about 1 p.m. Thursday.

Tuesday’s outcome marked a stunning rebuke of a two-term mayor who had the advantage of name recognition, experience in office and a massive war chest. Ultimately, experts said Reed could not overcome high unfavorability numbers and concerns surrounding the federal probe that led to indictments or convictions of several people who worked under him at City Hall.

Dickens held a press conference to celebrate advancing to the runoff and look ahead to the upcoming contest against Moore.

ExploreKasim Reed’s prowess comes up short with voters in a changed city

“We had the choice to either take us to the past and to the dark clouds that hang over this city, or to travel into the future,” said Dickens, adding that he is looking forward to having more time to lay out his platform to voters after a crowded general election. “Hope has defeated fear.”

Moore said in a statement that “voters spoke and resoundingly rejected the divisive politics of the past, and I am honored to be the first choice of so many Atlantans.

“I’m looking forward to having a constructive debate with Councilman Dickens about the future of our city.”


Here is Reed’s full statement:

“When I declared my candidacy for Mayor in June, I had one goal: to restore safety in every neighborhood across our city. Like many others, I witnessed the tapestry of diverse communities that make up our city be torn apart by surging levels of violent crime. I ran to ensure that our city could restore its reputation as the economic and cultural engine of the Southeast, where opportunity thrives and everyone has a shot at realizing their dreams. A city where every voice is heard and where everyone feels safe, no matter their zip code.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to every member of my campaign, every volunteer and every supporter who believed in my leadership and vision for this city. Although my campaign was unsuccessful, I still believe our city’s future is brightest as one that is united.

“I also want to congratulate both Council President Felicia Moore and Council Member Andre Dickens. As the race moves forward in a run-off, I will continue to work on behalf of the city that I love to ensure that we remain that shining city on a hill.

“Thank you, Atlanta.”

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