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Local Gov't Around GA

Atlanta, Brunswick elect new mayors in runoff elections

(The Center Square) – Andre Dickens has been declared the next mayor of Atlanta after defeating fellow city council member Felicia Moore in a runoff race.

Dickens secured 63.1% of the vote, according to unofficial results, toppling Moore, who garnered 36.8%.

The Associated Press declared Dickens the winner Tuesday night. Dickens, who has been an Atlanta City Council member for eight years, said his win was humbling.

“The future of Atlanta is limitless! Tonight, I am humbled that you chose me to serve as the 61st Mayor of Atlanta,” Dickens said in a tweet Tuesday night.

Dickens and Moore pitched action plans to cap violence in the state’s capital city. The rising trend in crime has been a hot topic among city leaders, legislators and the governor.

Gov. Brian Kemp has directed millions of dollars from his emergency fund to address crime. Kemp’s relationship with outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been more than dysfunctional as the mayor and governor often have had political duels in public.

Bottoms announced in May she was not seeking reelection. She endorsed Dickens in the runoff.

Dickens is a business owner with training in economic development and engineering. During his first term on the city council, he was the chair of Atlanta’s Public Safety Committee and credited himself for passing legislation “that helped deliver some of the safest years in recent history.”

Dickens said the city should lean on federal resources to hire more police officers and acquire more technology and tactics to curtail crime. He also wants to launch recidivism and youth programs.

Dickens’ victory over Moore removes her as Atlanta City Council president, a position she has held for three years. The position now will be held by political newcomer Doug Shipman, who also claimed victory Tuesday.

In another highly anticipated mayoral runoff in Brunswick, Cosby Johnson defeated former Johns Creek Councilman Ivan Figueroa.

Johnson received backing from members of Ahmaud Arbery’s family. Arbery was killed in a Brunswick neighborhood, making national headlines that changed Georgia’s hate crime and citizen’s arrest laws. Johnson reportedly lobbied for the changes.

Johnson is the vice president of governmental affairs for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and has worked closely with elected officials for more than a decade. He ran on his campaign on “working for” residents and “building a better” Brunswick for them. Cosby won 950 votes to Figueroa’s 326 votes Tuesday, according to unofficial results.

“Just getting started,” Cosby wrote on Facebook, celebrating his victory as the city’s 60th mayor.

By Nyamekye Daniel | The Center Square

The Georgia Virtue
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