Georgia Equality endorsed a batch of candidates in municipal races across Atlanta, reaffirming its support for Cathy Woolard's mayoral run and supporting some – but not all – LGBT candidates on the ballot.
In all, the statewide LGBT advocacy organization endorsed 20 candidates in races in Atlanta, Clarkston, Doraville and for the Atlanta School Board. Six of those are LGBT candidates.
“We’re proud to endorse each of these candidates for their stances on LGBTQ equality. There is much work to be done on the municipal level for LGBTQ equality in Georgia, and if elected, these candidates will be in the position to make it happen," the group said in a statement released Friday.
But on Friday, the group expanded its support to several other candidates, including LGBT ones Liliana Bakhtiari (Atlanta City Council, District 5), Kirk Rich (Atlanta City Council, District 6), and Joseph Geierman and Stephe Koontz in Doraville.
Georgia Equality also endorsed incumbent Carla Smith over LGBT challenger Bill Powell in the District 1 race for Atlanta City Council and Woolard over another LGBT challenger in the mayor's race, Laban King. The group also did not issue an endorsement for the At-Large Seat 8 post for the Atlanta School Board, which includes LGBT challenger Charlie Stadtlander, or in East Point, where LGBT candidate Christopher Weed is running for the City Council.
Georgia Equality explained its approach:
In a period in which many people seeking elected office are supportive of the LGBT community, the Georgia Equality Board of Directors will issue an endorsement for a candidate who we feel is best placed to advance our policy agenda. The lack of an endorsement should not necessarily be viewed as a negative reflection of a particular candidate's views on LGBT issues in general. In some instances the board did not make an endorsement if there were multiple candidates with evenly matched views on LGBT issues or in races where an incumbent was running unopposed.
The full list of candidates Georgia Equality endorsed on Friday:
City of Atlanta
Mayor: Cathy Woolard (photo)
City Council President: Alex Wan (photo)
City Council Post 1 At-Large: Courtney English
City Council Post 2 At-Large: Matt Westmoreland
City Council District 1: Carla Smith (I)
City Council District 2: Amir Farokhi
City Council District 5: Liliana Bakhtiari
City Council District 6: Kirk Rich
City Council District 7: Howard Shook (I)
City Council District 8: Anna Tillman
City Council District 10: Andrea Boone
City Council District 12: Joyce Sheperd (I)
Atlanta School Board
District 1: Leslie Grant (I)
District 2: Tony Burks
District 6: Eshe’ Collins
District 7: Kandis Wood Jackson
City of Clarkston
Mayor: Ted Terry (I)
City Council: Laura Hopkins
City of Doraville
City Council District 2: Joseph Geierman
City Council District 3: Stephe Koontz