ATLANTA (CBS46) — The runoff election that will determine the new mayor of Atlanta is happening on Nov. 30. CBS46 caught up with the candidates today.
Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore is taking on Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens.
Moore received the most votes in the general election, but not enough for a decisive win.
Both Moore and Dickens have been out and about, encouraging residents to vote in the runoff on Tuesday.
The Atlanta mayoral candidates say they are excited going into the final night before the runoff in the Atlanta Mayor’s race.
“I’m out here going everywhere right now, knocking on doors, talking to people just getting the word out,” Dickens told CBS46.
“We have to work with the [people] that are voting, and our people are out there knocking on doors, ringing phones,” Moore said.
Moore, the outgoing Atlanta City Council President, says her top three issues are reducing crime, improving city services and government transparency. She plans to address these items in the first 100 days in office.
Dickens, an eight-year Atlanta City Council member, says in his first 120 days he will decrease crime and improve infrastructure and city services while also addressing affordable housing and income inequality.
Dickens has gained endorsements from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis along with other big name supporters.
“It’s been great to have the endorsement of three former mayors,” said Dickens who is also being endorsed by former Mayors Andrew Young and Shirley Franklin.
“All of the city council members that are endorsing, are endorsing me. All of the school board members that are endorsing have endorsed me. All of the county commissioners that can endorse are endorsing me. I am grateful that they endorse me to be the next leader of Atlanta because they are leaders themselves,” Dickens stated.
Moore has gained support of State Representatives Roger Bruce, Erica Thomas, and Park Cannon, Judge Glenda Hatchett, DeKalb County’s Sheriff Melody Maddox, and other community leaders. Moore telling CBS46 she’s not an endorsement person.
“The best endorsement I can get is that 41 % of the voters who voted for me to go back to the polls that’s the endorsements that matter,” Moore told CBS46.
In the last week, Moore has faced criticism from some in the Black community who have questioned her allegiance to their needs and interests. Moore says some of the sentiments are a result of “a lot of lies being told” about her.
“Apparently my opponent and his surrogates are concerned about whether he can win this race and what they have done is very deceitful and insulting campaign to try to separate Black voters from me,” Moore told CBS46. “Anyone who knows me and has followed my record for the last two and a half decades knows that I committed myself to strengthening the Black community and particularly those who are in generational poverty.” Moore says she will represent every group in Atlanta.
Dickens did not respond directly to Moore’s claims that his campaign has spread false information about her, instead the Southwest Atlanta native reiterated that he has support of many in the Black community and stated he is a “unifier” for all of Atlanta. He says having lived in Buckhead for more than 15 years, he too wants to keep them a part of the city.
Moore has gained the support of Buckhead residents who have supported annexation from the City of Atlanta. She says she wants to keep Buckhead in the city and reduce crime.
Voter turnout has been low, however. In the General Election 36,232 total ballots cast in person out of the out of 846,000 registered voters in Fulton County. 527 ballots were cast via mail. The turnout was roughly 25% of the county’s eligible voters.
“It’s unfortunate that people talk, but they don’t vote,” said Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts. “We’ve got everything humanly possible to get people back to the polls,” he added.
Pitts said he expects a 20% turnout, but the elections staff is preparing 1,600 workers to be ready at their 184 sites throughout the county on runoff day.
“If there is an equipment failure, we will have a technician at each of the polling location,” Pitts told CBS46. “When people do not show up who said they were going to show up, we will have people on the bench ready to replace them, so I think we are ready to go for tomorrow.”
The precincts in Fulton County are open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Precincts in the City of Atlanta remain open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.