Leave it to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to throw some politics, guised as humor, into his announcement Thursday that the city was selling Turner Field to Georgia State University for $30 million.
In an off-handed comment, the current mayor may have hinted that Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms might soon be entering the race to succeed him in City Hall.
Reed was in a good mood all morning and moments after Scott Taylor, president of the development firm that will be developing the area gave a rousing speech, Reed rose to the microphone and urged him to run for mayor.
But Reed is smart enough to know that the mayoral race – although the field is not complete – is already in full swing for November 2017.
“Scott Taylor for mayor,” Reed said laughing. “…After the next election. I don’t want to upset Ceasar and Keisha.”
By “Ceasar” he meant City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell — who was sitting in the front row and who has officially declared he is running for mayor having already raised more than a half-million dollars.
By "Keisha" he meant Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was also riding high Thursday as the head of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority who helped broker the Turner Field deal.
She was sitting on stage with the mayor.
Immediately after the ceremony, standing in the hot sun at the stadium, Bottoms tried desperately to keep the focus on the sale.
“This day is about celebrating Georgia State and what is happening in this community,” Bottoms said. “And I don’t want anything that I would say personally to take away from that celebration. So that is a conversation for another day.”
If that day ever happens, along with Mitchell, Bottoms would find herself in a race against Peter Aman, Margaret Kaiser and Cathy Woolard who have already declared a declaration of intent to run.
That is unless Reed decides to out someone else.