Another mayoral candidate

Add one Jesse Spikes to the long list of folks planning to run for Atlanta mayor next year.

No, we weren’t familiar with Mr. Spikes, either, so we gave him a call. Spikes, 57, is a former Rhodes Scholar and a senior partner with McKenna Long & Aldridge, one of the city’s largest law firms. Although he served for a time as Evander Holyfield’s business attorney, he is not a well-known figure in Atlanta – but he does have an interesting back story.

Born on a farm in Henry County, the youngest of 13 children, to parents who never went to high school, Spikes’ future seemed understandably limited. But he was sent to school in New England by A Better Chance, a private educational foundation. Spikes went on to attend Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School and, courtesy of a Rhodes Scholarship, Oxford University.

Spikes, who specializes in business law, says he’d always expected to go to work in the public sector to give back to society, but hadn’t found the right opportunity. He now believes he’s found that chance.

“I think I’m the manager the city needs,” he says. “I’m someone who intends to focus on the nuts and bolts, day-in-day-out job of running the city.”

As someone who’s never run for public office, Spikes has his work cut out for him. So far, the field of mayoral candidates looks to include a number of seasoned political veterans: Council President Lisa Borders; State Sen. Kasim Reed; Council members Caesar Mitchell and Mary Norwood; and Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts.