By most accounts, the young and articulate Michael Sterling has chosen to withdraw from the crowded race of hopefuls as the 60th mayor of Atlanta.

“We’ve campaigned all over this city, participated in some 20 or 30 forums, knocked on doors, made phone calls, and we’ve raised money trying to take our message out to Atlanta,” said Sterling. “And while we believe our message has resonated it has become very clear to my campaign that we no longer have a path to victory.”

The former federal prosecutor, who was also an advisor to Mayor Kasim Reed, broke ranks with his political mentor and threw his support to Reed’s nemesis at City Hall, Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

“And so I’m going to spend the next two weeks doing everything that I can in my power to make sure that Ceasar Mitchell becomes the 60th mayor or Atlanta because I believe he is our best hope for a city of Atlanta that’s better tomorrow than it was yesterday."

Mitchell said “this represents an incredible boost for my campaign. I believe this sends a signal in a race that has been crowded, we’re seeing consolidation.”

The two men gathered with family and friends to reinforce their new unified front.

“I didn’t think we could wait, I believe in the fierce urgency of the moment which is also why I’m throwing my support behind President Mitchell, I believe we face critical issues and challenges in the city of Atlanta that we didn’t need to wait,” said Sterling.

Mayor Kasim Reed, who has endorsed Keisha Lance Bottoms in the race, wished Sterling and Mitchell well on Twitter soon after the announcement.

“And make no bones about it, I am the only Democrat that can win this race,” said Mitchell.

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