The daughter of the late Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first African-American mayor, endorsed former state lawmaker Kasim Reed for mayor in next Tuesday's election.
Brooke Jackson Edmond said at a news conference Wednesday morning that Reed is following the path her father would had supported, citing Reed's campaign platform to fight gangs and to reopen 22 recreation centers closed last year due to budget cuts.
"Kasim Reed is the true Democrat in this race and the only candidate to whom this torch should be passed," Edmond said at a news conference.
Edmond cut a commercial for Reed that will premier today, campaign officials said.
Meanwhile, candidate Mary Norwood has scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference Wednesday to announce the support of Newsmakers Live, a group that hosts meetings with local leaders and blogs about Georgia politics.
Edmond is a co-founder of Jackmont Hospitality, a food service company. One of the co-founders is Daniel Halpern, Reed's campaign co-chair.
Jackson was first elected in 1973 and served three terms as mayor. Before his death in 2003, he was considered the godfather of Atlanta politics. Jackson helped elect Andrew Young, Bill Campbell and Shirley Franklin as mayor.
Edmond's supporter could help sway African-American voters to Reed, who believes he has momentum in the mayor's race and is dueling with City Council President Lisa Borders for second place in a potential Dec. 1 runoff with Norwood. Norwood is hoping to win the election outright on Tuesday, and will need the majority of votes to do so in a crowded field of eight candidates.
Borders has also tried to assume the mantle of Jackson's political heir. Borders often says Jackson was her political idol ever since she heard him speak at her grandfather's church in 1968. Borders' grandfather was William Holmes Borders, who successfully pushed Atlanta to integrate its police force and was pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com