Ever-inclusive Emory gives Kyle Keyser an invite

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Kyle Keyser’s quixotic mayoral campaign gets a boost Wednesday when he takes part in a mayoral debate — the first he’s been allowed to join since announcing his candidacy.

The gay candidate, community organizer and anti-crime crusader has been left out of most mayoral forums and debates, which typically offer only the Big 3 candidates of Lisa Borders, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed. Occasionally, Jesse Spike gets an invite, too.

But since stepping into the race Sept. 1, Keyser’s been ignored by debate organizers like a 40-year-old at a twink’s birthday party. Thankfully, ever-inclusive Emory added him to a 90-minute debate Wednesday at Glenn Memorial Chapel. (Which furthers our argument that Emory ought to just host Pride in its quad.)

As the City of Atlanta drives economic development for the entire metro region and Georgia, it’s important for Emory University and our surrounding communities to get to know the candidates who want to take the helm and lead the city for the next four years.

You are invited to come watch the debate unfold as the top candidates take the podium to state their cases. Though you may not be voting in the election, this office certainly has a regional impact that is important to Atlanta’s neighbors.

The forum will be moderated by Fox-5 anchor Russ Spencer and young alum & New York Times reporter Robbie Brown (Class of 2007).

The lack of debate invitations hasn’t slowed Keyser, who scored nearly $5,605 in donations in a month of grassroots campaigning. He also helped organize a two-hour public forum last week that brought together LGBT activists and the top commanders of the Atlanta Police Department for the first time since police raided the Eagle. He, like Borders and Reed, has also experienced the city’s problem in a very personal way.

With the Big 3 all reaching out to the city’s LGBT voters, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the gay candidate when Keyser appears alongside them. Politic pundits don’t give Keyser much of a chance in the race, but if the Big 3 use the same sharp elbows against him that they are using against one another, it could repel gay voters from their campaigns.

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