Atlanta has a crowded field of candidates hoping to be the city’s next mayor. L-R top, Peter Aman, Keisha Lance-Bottoms, John Eaves. Center, Vincent Fort, Kwanza Hall, Ceasar Mitchell. Bottom, Mary Norwood, Michael Sterling, Cathy Woolard.

In Atlanta mayor’s race, contest for campaign cash is a tight one

If the jumbled race for campaign cash is any indication, the race for Atlanta mayor is as competitive as ever.

Five candidates in the hunt to succeed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Nov. 7 have collected more than $1 million, with some digging deep into their wallets to finance their own bids. And seven said they stockpiled at least $200,000 for the final stretch.

In all, the cost of the race has already topped $9 million through the end of September — a sum that’s sure to rise ahead of a likely December runoff.

Atop the cash heap are former Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Peter Aman and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who both have collected about $2.1 million thanks in part to their own personal fortunes. Aman loaned his campaign $1 million; Mitchell chipped in at least $150,000 of his own funds.

Both also have stashed away money for the last weeks of the campaign. Aman reported $625,000 left in the tank, while Mitchell has $455,000.

City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who leads in public polling, has raised about $1.3 million and has $530,000 remaining in her account.

Two others crossed the seven-figure threshold: City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms raised nearly $1.2 million — including at least $240,000 in loans — with about $440,000 left. And former City Council President Cathy Woolard collected $1 million and has about $250,000 remaining.

Four other prominent candidates are trailing in the fundraising race.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall raised $615,000 and has spent all but $240,000. Former state Sen. Vincent Fort raised about $480,000, aided by his endorsement from Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, and reported $215,000 in the bank.

Onetime Atlanta workforce agency head Michael Sterling raised about $230,000 and has $30,000 remaining. And ex-Fulton County Chairman John Eaves raised about $200,000 and had about $70,000 left.

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