Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Courtney English speaks at a Thursday press conference at which he was endorsed by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for a seat on the Atlanta City Council. LSTAFFORD/AJC

Shirley Franklin backs APS’ Courtney English in Atlanta council race

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin on Thursday threw her support behind Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Courtney English in his bid to get on the Atlanta City Council.

Franklin, who has been mum on any favorite candidates she might have in the mayoral race, said English’s leadership at Atlanta Public Schools is sorely needed on the City Council. She praised English’s willingness to make tough, unpopular decisions and said he is a man of vision.

Things got heated at a recent candidate forum between Michael Julian Bond, the city council post 1 incumbent and his challenger, Courtney English. (Footage via Georgia STAND-UP’s Facebook Live.)

“He has the ability to see beyond the here and now,” Franklin said. “He has the ability to understand that Atlanta can be better.”

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English is battling Atlanta City Council incumbent Michael Julian Bond for the At Large Council seat Bond has held since 2009.

candidate forum in which the two met earlier this month became heated when Bond appeared to get aggressive with English as the two sat next to each. Bond was later asked to move several seats away after the incident.

English said Bond, son of civil rights icon Julian Bond, became angry as they locked horns over the ongoing controversy concerning APS property deeds the city is holding onto. Bond denied the claim.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for placing your trust in me, ” English said to Franklin. “I know how much you love this city. Your support means so very much.”

RELATED: Atlanta City Council will now sign off on ethics board membership


The AJC's Leon Stafford keeps you updated on the latest in the Atlanta mayoral race and everything else going on at City Hall. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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