Georgia Equality endorses 6 LGBT candidates in Atlanta area races

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.

Georgia Equality reaffirmed Woolard as its choice for mayor and Alex Wan for City Council president. The group first announced supporting those LGBT candidates in August.

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.

Georgia Equality has not yet issued endorsements in Fulton County races, which include LGBT candidates Keisha Waites (chair), and Reese McCranie and Josh McNair (District 4).

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