While the race has been going on for quite some time, official qualifications for the 2017 Atlanta mayoral election began Tuesday and will remain open through the end of the week. This serves as one last opportunity for candidates to weigh their options and either drop out or lay down the $5,529 qualifying fee that will secure their name on the ballot on November 7th.
Several of the leading candidates in the race were quick to make their way to Atlanta City Hall on Tuesday to officially qualify for the race they’ve been running in for months. First was Keisha Lance Bottoms, the city councilwoman who is a favorite of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed. With a Presidential-sized campaign bus and the support of the city’s most powerful politician, she will look to emerge from a crowded field into a likely runoff.
Mary Norwood, the early leader in the clubhouse, also qualified on day one. Another city councilwoman, Norwood has led big in the polls published thus far and looks to build on her 2009 race where she narrowly lost to Reed in the runoff.
Officially joining those two women in the race was city council President Ceasar Mitchell, who held a ‘qualifying rally’ (apparently that’s a thing now) following his ceremonial check-signing at city hall. Kwanza Hall, another city councilman, also qualified Tuesday.
State Senator Vincent Fort will qualify later today, bringing his progressive message into the fold. The other candidates, including Peter Aman, Cathy Woolard, Michael Sterling, and John Eaves, have until Friday at 4:30pm to turn in their checks.
One mayoral hopeful did announce his intentions to drop out of the race – Al Bartell, a perennial fringe candidate who said he will bring his ‘environmentalist message’ to the 2020 race for U.S. Senate, where David Perdue will look to defend his seat for the first time.
Stay tuned this week as the rest of the field officially throw their hats in the ring – or decide to save some $5,000 and back out of the two month sprint to election day.