Winner in Atlanta mayoral race declared, city councilman winner endorsed by Mayor Keisha Bottoms
Dickens has vowed to curb the wave of violent crime in the city
Atlanta City Council member Andre Dickens won a runoff election Tuesday to become the city's next mayor.
The election centered on the issue of rising violent crime in the city. Dickens successfully argued that he would be a more effective leader on the issue than rival Felicia Moore, the current City Council president.
Moore had been the leading candidate initially in the round of voting that began on Nov. 2.
Incumbent Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms this past spring surprised the political world when announcing she would not seek reelection. Bottoms, an outspoken Trump critic, was considered a rising party star in a once Red state that last year voted for Democrat Joe Biden for president.
Dickens, a 47-year-old engineer and Atlanta native, joined the city council in 2013. He effectively made the case that his wide variety of experience would allow him to address crime as well as affordable housing and expanding opportunities for the city's poorest residents.
Dickens wound up in second place after the Nov. 2 vote, pushing past two-term former Mayor Kasim Reed, who finished third and was shut out of the runoff. Dickens received endorsements from Bottoms and a number of his fellow Nov. 2 competitors.
As is the case in many major cities across the country, Atlanta has seen a frightening rise in murders over the last many months. As of early November, killings were up 10% year-over-year, an 59% compared with 2019, according to Atlanta police data.
Dickens campaigned on cracking down on gangs, increasing the number of police officers on the city's force, and implement community policing practices.