In a surprise victory in the District 3 Atlanta City Council runoff election, businessman Antonio Brown edged out former Atlanta Public Schools board member Byron Amos for the seat left vacant by Ivory Lee Young Jr., who died late last year.
With 53.26 percent of the vote, Brown had 669 votes to Amos’ 587, according to online Fulton County election results. The win comes on the heels of Amos’ announcing endorsements from Atlanta City Council members including At-Large District 1 and 2 council members Michael Julian Bond and Matt Westmoreland.
Brown, 34, pulled off somewhat of an upset after finishing second to Amos in the special election last month that included 10 candidates. There was some question in the weeks after the race whether he would even be allowed to run because of a court challenge.
Brown will be tasked with building on Young’s legacy for Atlanta’s Westside and expanding the area without displacing residents. His win could shift the balance of power on the council as he has vowed to bring an “independent perspective” to the 16-member body.
An Amos’ win likely would have played to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ favor as he’s garnered financial support from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Vendors and other individuals tied to Bottoms including airport concessionaire Wassim Hojeij and Bottoms’ mentor attorney Alvin Kendall.
Bottoms took to Twitter late Tuesday night to congratulate Brown on his win: “I look forward to working together on continuing to move District 3 and the city of Atlanta forward,” Bottoms said.
While the seat is filled, only a small fraction— 1,256 voters — decided the race for a district with nearly 40,000 residents that stretches from the historically black, low-income Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods to Atlantic Station, an that’s seen booming real estate developments.
The third of 11 children, Brown said he grew up in poverty and understands the district’s needs and wants to address affordable housing and food deserts.
“We need to look at the issue that 8 percent of residents own their homes and most (residents) are dealing with rent-control issues,” Brown told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Brown, who spent much of Wednesday meeting and thanking supporters, has said he was “coming into this from an independent perspective” and did not have any political ties to groups in the city.
“I’m not just here to go against things (Bottoms) signs into policy, but I am here to hold her accountable to ensure it aligns with the people’s agenda and needs, especially those I represent in District 3,” Brown said.
Brown’s financial supporters inside and outside Atlanta ranged from truck drivers and barbers to executives and lawyers.
At a press conference Monday, Amos said his friendship with Bottoms didn’t mean he would automatically be her political ally.
While he doesn’t have any future political plans, Amos said he will continue to be involved in the district.
“I still have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I can offer to the city, but I have no immediate plan to run again,” Amos told the AJC. “I’m still dedicated to doing work and willing to offer my experience.”
He has no plans to contest the race if Tuesday night’s results remain the same once certified.
Amos did, however, have this advice for Brown: “Always follow the guidance of the people and stand in support of their desires and their needs.”
Details regarding Brown’s swearing-in will be announced after the certification of the election re
> RELATED: Atlanta runoff results charts
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