Shipman ahead in funds in Atlanta council president race, but Archibong making gains

Former Woodruff Arts Center CEO Doug Shipman continues to boast the largest war chest in this year’s race for Atlanta City Council president, but Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong made gains in the last two months, out-raising Shipman by less than $600.

They are running this fall to replace Council President Felicia Moore, who is vying for mayor. Also campaigning for council president are former Atlanta Public Schools board chair Courtney English and retired Army officer Mike Russell.

Shipman, who had a strong fundraising start at the beginning of year, now has just over $250,000 in the bank, according to the latest campaign finance reports. He raised about $114,200 in the last fundraising cycle, which covered May and June.

Archibong, an attorney who has represented an Eastside district on the Council since 2002, has $193,000 on hand. She raised about $114,800 in the last cycle.

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English, who ran for a citywide council seat in 2017, has about $79,000 in the bank, reporting $25,000 in contributions in the last two months. Russell, who announced his campaign last month, reported $16,600 in donations.

In a press release, Archibong’s campaign noted her campaign raised more in May and June than the previous fundraising period.

“This is an excellent measure of where our campaign is right now and the state of the race. We have the momentum. We are getting stronger,” Archibong said in a statement.

Shipman also celebrated his latest fundraising haul, saying his campaign is preparing “to implement an aggressive summer outreach plan — across the entire city.”

As the No. 2 elected position in Atlanta city government, the council president is responsible for leading council meetings but cannot introduce legislation and only vote in the event of a tie. The council president also serves as mayor if that position becomes vacant.

On Nov. 2, Atlanta voters will make their picks for mayor, council president and council races. The council seats include three citywide posts that will appear on every ballot and are beginning to gain steam.

Incumbent Councilman Michael Julian Bond is facing several challengers: Alfred Shivy Brooks, Jereme Sharpe, Brandon Cory Goldberg and Todd Gray. Councilman Matt Westmoreland is running unopposed for reelection to his post.

Councilman Andre Dickens’ seat will be open since he is running for mayor; Jacki Labat, Jodi Merriday and Ralph Long have launched bids for that position.