Who is running for Atlanta mayor? Here’s a full list of the candidates

The candidates polling in the top half of the mayor's race convene at the Atlanta Press Club debate Tuesday.

Credit: Courtesy/

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The candidates polling in the top half of the mayor's race convene at the Atlanta Press Club debate Tuesday.

Credit: Courtesy/

Credit: Courtesy/

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to not seek reelection upended this year’s race for City Hall. Since her surprise May 6 announcement, several candidates launched campaigns for mayor, and the field grew to 14 contenders ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

Atlanta’s city elections are nonpartisan and all candidates who officially qualify to run will be on the same ballot. Here’s the complete list of who is running for mayor:

Watch: Top 5 candidates answer questions from the AJC and from readers in online forum

Antonio Brown

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Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown speaks during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall on Friday, May 14, 2021 in which he announced he is running for mayor. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

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

Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown speaks during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall on Friday, May 14, 2021 in which he announced he is running for mayor. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

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

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Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown speaks during a press conference outside of Atlanta City Hall on Friday, May 14, 2021 in which he announced he is running for mayor. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

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

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

Antonio Brown joined the Atlanta City Council following a special election in 2019. Representing a Westside district, Brown has advocated for progressive policies during his time on the council. As mayor, he said, he would reimagine public safety to support the city’s marginalized communities. Brown could face scrutiny because he is currently under indictment on federal fraud charges, for allegedly lying about his income on applications to obtain loans and credit cards years before he ran for office. Brown has repeatedly said he is innocent.

ExploreAntonio Brown: Atlanta mayoral candidate bio and profile from the AJC
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210916-Atlanta-Andre Dickens speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

210916-Atlanta-Andre Dickens speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

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210916-Atlanta-Andre Dickens speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Andre Dickens

Andre Dickens defeated an incumbent in 2013 to win a citywide post on the City Council, and was reelected in 2017. He also serves as the chief development officer for TechBridge, an organization that offers affordable technology and workforce training to other nonprofits. Dickens, who currently chairs the Council’s transportation committee and has sponsored legislation to regulate Atlanta’s short-term rental properties, said he wants to make public safety and job growth his priority as mayor.

ExploreAndre Dickens: Atlanta mayoral candidate bio and profile from the AJC
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August 25, 2021 Atlanta - Local businesswoman Kirsten Dunn officially announces her candidacy to become Atlanta's 61st mayor at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

August 25, 2021 Atlanta - Local businesswoman Kirsten Dunn officially announces her candidacy to become Atlanta's 61st mayor at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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August 25, 2021 Atlanta - Local businesswoman Kirsten Dunn officially announces her candidacy to become Atlanta's 61st mayor at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Kirsten Dunn

Kirsten Elise Dunn is a real estate investor, optician, serial entrepreneur, and author. She wants to address crime in part by using the CeaseFire initiative, which deploys social service workers, former criminals and crime victims in communities heavily afflicted by gun violence. She also wants to make expansions in health services, job opportunities, and housing for the homeless. Dunn said Atlanta should focus on “self policing” practices, such as the neighborhood watch programs, rather than “depending 100% on the police.” Dunn spent five years in prison after a 2002 fraud conviction.

ExploreThe AJC’s Voters Guide to the Atlanta City Hall races
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Traveling Grace Ministries president Nolan English is running to become Atlanta's 61st mayor. (Courtesy of Nolan English)

Traveling Grace Ministries president Nolan English is running to become Atlanta's 61st mayor. (Courtesy of Nolan English)

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Traveling Grace Ministries president Nolan English is running to become Atlanta's 61st mayor. (Courtesy of Nolan English)

Nolan English

Nolan English is a pastor and president of the Traveling Grace Ministries who wants to “eradicate homelessness,” “fix the economy,” and repair potholes. He’s an army veteran with an array of experience as an environmental safety & compliance officer, a juvenile treatment specialist, an “advocate for the homeless,” “social entrepreneur,” football coach, life coach and counselor. English said he wants to recruit retired soldiers for the police department. He promised to “freeze” certain property taxes and review homestead exemption programs. He also wants to set aside funds to revitalize dilapidated communities.

ExploreAJC's complete coverage of the Race for Atlanta City Hall
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Atlanta attorney Sharon Gay.

Credit: Courtesy

Atlanta attorney Sharon Gay.

Credit: Courtesy

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Atlanta attorney Sharon Gay.

Credit: Courtesy

Credit: Courtesy

Sharon Gay

A private attorney, Sharon Gay is a senior counsel in public policy practice for Dentons, a multinational entity that is considered the world’s largest law firm based on number of lawyers and offices. Prior to joining Dentons, Gay served as vice president of governmental affairs for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and was deputy chief of staff and executive counsel to former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell. Fundraising records show Gay has raised $389,129 in donations, and issued a $710,000 personal loan to her campaign.

ExploreSharon Gay: Atlanta mayoral candidate bio and profile from the AJC
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Buckhead resident and Atlanta mayoral candidate Mark Hammad. (Courtesy of Mark Hammad)

Buckhead resident and Atlanta mayoral candidate Mark Hammad. (Courtesy of Mark Hammad)

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Buckhead resident and Atlanta mayoral candidate Mark Hammad. (Courtesy of Mark Hammad)

Mark Hammad

Buckhead resident Mark Hammad said he wants to ensure repeat and violent offenders are serving their jail time in Atlanta. He also wants to restore city services, the infrastructure, and address homelessness with a “housing-first” policy. He wants to review every department to eliminate any “waste, fraud, and abuse within the city” that’s expending funds that can be used to serve residents. He also wants to invest amenities and services into neighborhoods to address displacement, and he wants to mimic the Westside Future Fund that tries to keep longtime residents in the community. Hammad previously worked for the infrastructure firm HNTB. He lives with his wife and owns a two-bedroom condo and two cars.

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210916-Atlanta-Kenny Hill speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

210916-Atlanta-Kenny Hill speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

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210916-Atlanta-Kenny Hill speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Kenny Hill

Kenny Hill is a Home Depot 30-year career retiree, nonprofit and faith leader, and small business owner. He and his wife founded The Launchpad Foundation to provide housing, life skills and career training to the homeless. Hill wants to invest in officer retention and hiring to maintain 2,000 officers. He wants to remodel police precincts and require officers to mentor students so gangs don’t have that opportunity. He also promised to require developers to hire local employees, and he wants to build more affordable housing. Hill also wants to expand programs that support longtime residents.

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Rebecca King

Rebecca King

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Rebecca King

Rebecca King

Buckhead-based businesswoman Rebecca King is the CEO of insurance documentation firm Cover Your Assets. She serves in five different organizations, including her Neighborhood Planning Unit, Livable Buckhead, and the North Buckhead Association. She wants to hire a new police chief and she wants to expand the Pre Arrest Diversion program to 24/7 service. King said she will work with neighborhood planning units and hire a City Hall liaison to the public and private sectors to prevent displacement.

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Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore. (Photo: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore.  (Photo: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

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Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore. (Photo: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Felicia Moore

City Council President Felicia Moore represented a northwest Atlanta district on the council for 20 years before being elected to lead the city’s legislative body in 2017. Moore announced in late January that she was challenging Bottoms, running on a platform focused on public safety. The day after Bottoms said she was ending her reelection bid, Moore revealed she had raised nearly $500,000 in donations from February to May. Moore is also a former neighborhood association president and Neighborhood Planning Unit chair.

ExploreFelicia Moore: Atlanta mayoral candidate bio and profile from the AJC
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210916-Atlanta-Kasim Reed speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

210916-Atlanta-Kasim Reed speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

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210916-Atlanta-Kasim Reed speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Kasim Reed

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed served as mayor from 2010-18. He oversaw a development boom in the city, including construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and refurbishment of State Farm Arena. A federal corruption investigation began during his tenure and ensnared several members of his administration, including bribery convictions against his chief procurement officer and a deputy chief of staff. Reed said authorities have never accused him of corruption and apologized for the now years-long investigation, which is ongoing. He is the first mayor since Maynard Jackson to seek a third term in office.

ExploreKasim Reed: Atlanta mayoral candidate bio and profile from the AJC
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210916-Atlanta-Walter Reeves speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

210916-Atlanta-Walter Reeves speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

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210916-Atlanta-Walter Reeves speaks during a public safety forum Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 2021 in Downtown Atlanta. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Walter Reeves

Walter Reeves is an Athens native who calls himself a “legal scholar” with “blue-collar street cred.” He wants to find the right people to address crime and he wants officers to receive training from federal and international law enforcement programs. He also promised a $15 minimum wage for airport workers, and to avoid “gambling interests” that he says corrupt society.

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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)

Credit: Wilborn Nobles

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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

Roosevelt Searles III

Roosevelt Searles III is a 24-year-old who was previously homeless, but he also started a lawn care company as well as a website design and business coaching company. The former Clayton County 911 dispatcher said he currently identifies as a multi-business owner, philanthropist, author and non-profit founder of The National Fresh Start & Assistance Institute. He wants to push companies to increase wages. Searles is also proposing a “100 day” crime plan that includes the creation of several public safety accountability boards, audits of every city department, stronger code enforcement, up tp 100 city-owned drones, daily “gun sweeps,” limits on city fees, and a possible curfew for minors under 16, among other ideas. He also wants to legalize cannabis in the city to increase city revenue by at least $1 billion dollars within the first year, and by $3 billion dollars each year after.

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080421 Atlanta: Mayoral candidate and local businessman Richard Wright takes questions during a mayoral debate hosted by The Young Democrats of Atlanta at Manuel’s Tavern on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

080421 Atlanta: Mayoral candidate and local businessman Richard Wright takes questions during a mayoral debate hosted by The Young Democrats of Atlanta at Manuel’s Tavern on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, in Atlanta.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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080421 Atlanta: Mayoral candidate and local businessman Richard Wright takes questions during a mayoral debate hosted by The Young Democrats of Atlanta at Manuel’s Tavern on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Richard Wright

Richard N. Wright owns “Accounting Done Wright CPA” and promised to address systemic crime and wealth inequality with people-first, pro-business policies. Wright said officers deserve more bonuses and pay raises. He promised to work with banks to modify home loan applications, and he wants to use city reserves to keep longtime residents in their homes. He also wants to create opportunities for residents to submit routine feedback on the quality of city services to gauge what needs to be improved in real time. He wants citizens to be more involved in the budget process as well.

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Glenn Wrightson

Glenn Wrightson

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Glenn Wrightson

Glenn Wrightson

Glenn Wrightson said Atlanta should provide a “safety net.” He wants to use the mayor’s office to pressure schools to improve in quality to address income inequality. Wrightson also wants to eliminate plastic grocery bags and restrict gas-powered leaf blowers. He wants to increase recycling efforts and shredding tires to make our asphalt for street resurfacing. Wrightson wants to would reopen the city’s detention center, and he proposed to work with officers and the courts to step up cases and stop repeat offenders. He also wants to reduce the budget at the mayor’s office.