DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond endorsed the Democratic presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg during a rally Friday. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond endorses Bloomberg at rally

A “Mike for Black America” rally in DeKalb County drew about 60 people eager to throw their support behind Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg. Among them was DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, who announced his support for Bloomberg at the Friday event at Piedmont Technical College.

Bloomberg’s Georgia operation has aggressively courted Thurmond, a political pragmatist who is one of the more influential Georgia Democrats.

“There is no one on the Democratic or Republican side whose accomplishments can beat out Mike Bloomberg,” Thurmond said. “When you run a city or local jurisdiction, the No. 1 priority is making your city safe, and he did it.”

Thurmond did not mention Bloomberg’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy that allowed New York City police to detain, question and possibly search people based on “reasonable suspicion.” It was found that the policy was applied in inordinate numbers against African Americans and Latinos, and a federal judge struck it down in 2013.

Thurmond also criticized President Donald Trump’s language on the internet and called him a “bully.”

“I don’t think we need to be using profanity in the West Wing of the White House around children,” he said. “Now, I know these aren’t big issues, but I’m a parent. In my opinion, I don’t think we should normalize that type of behavior. We shouldn’t normalize bullying and name-calling on the internet, particularly as it relates to women.”

Thurmond ended his speech with a rallying cry against bullying, and he told supporters, “I want you to stand up, I want you to walk, and I want you to vote against not just Trump, but every person who has ever tried to bully you.”

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