Mayoral madness, pt. 1

Locals sound off on the mayoral race

Voting Machines 002.59f8cb857a73f
Photo credit: Joeff Davis/CL File

We reached out to individuals across the city and asked them who they are voting for in the mayoral race and why (or why not). We also asked them to tell us about the issues that are important to them. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.


Raymond Partolan, undocumented advocate for immigrant and refugee communities:

“As a resident of the City of Atlanta, and as an undocumented person who has lived in the State of Georgia since the age of 1, I think it is incredibly important for everyone to be involved in the democratic process. The future of the City of Atlanta as a regional hub and as an economic powerhouse is at stake. As a city, it is important for us to recognize what values are important to us. What will our city be known for? I’d like for our city to be known for its tolerance and acceptance of people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. I’d like for our city to stand up for all of its residents, whether they have lawful immigration status in this country or not. I’d like for our city to be a sanctuary for all people who seek to do good for our society. Although I have yet to make up my mind in this very important mayoral election, I urge all Atlanta voters to go out and vote. For someone like me who does not have that sacred right, seeing active participation in the democratic process is one of the most moving things. There is no excuse not to vote.”


Angel Poventud, freight train engineer and conductor for CSX railroad:

“I’ve lived in Atlanta for 19 years. I did not really understand the role the mayor of the city played until I started going down to City Hall in 2004 to try to save a historic building in Midtown. Back then, Mayor Shirley Franklin had an open door policy, Mayor’s Night In, and it got me on the road to becoming a greater part of my city. This election cycle, I am really excited about the potential of Cathy Woolard being our next mayor. I love the vision that she has for the future of our city and how she is always thinking about the bigger, greater picture. I have seen her pull a large group of people together, many voices in a room, to get to the best solution on an issue. She is genuinely concerned about affordability/displacement and wants to be the mayor to bring the full vision of the Beltline to completion under her watch, including transit. Her vision for Atlanta includes all of us, every neighborhood and every street. I look forward to the partnerships that she will forge and the pride that she will bring to City Hall.”


Keith William, producer and vocalist for WAKE/wakeATL:

“Vincent Fort because he is the only candidate that has proven year after year that he cares about the people of Atlanta over everything else, including corporate interests. Others talk a good game, but he is the only one with the track record. If you are a true progressive or consider yourself to be anywhere on the left-leaning side of the spectrum, then he is the only true candidate. Do the research, folks!”


Alan Holmes, co-chair Georgia New Guard:

“The issue of blight and vacant homes is most important to me. Currently, I am undecided in regard to who I will support for mayor, but I know for a fact that I will not be voting for Keisha Lance-Bottoms. In my opinion, the mayor has been an abject failure in regard to adequately investing city resources in addressing issues related to vacant homes over the last eight years. I would be foolish to think that his handpicked successor will be any different. Candidate Bottoms doesn’t even say a word about vacant homes on her platform page of her website, and has yet to show up to even one Code Enforcement Commission meeting in the close to four years that it has been in existence.”


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