Georgia Equality weighed in with endorsements in several municipal races as early voting continues and Election Day approaches on Nov. 2. The endorsements also steered clear of several races — including the one for Atlanta mayor — at least until some likely runoffs narrow the field.
In an announcement earlier this month, Georgia Equality endorsed seven LGBTQ candidates across races in Tucker, Hapeville and Atlanta.
“During municipal elections, voters may tend to be less engaged than during higher profile years, but these races couldn’t be any more important to our work,” GE executive director Jeff Graham said in a press release.
“Right now, 13 Georgia cities and counties protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, and this year’s endorsed candidates will help grow that number when they are elected,” he added.
Among those getting Georgia Equality’s support for Atlanta City Council were Liliana Bakhtiari in District 5, Alex Wan in District 6 (over another LGBTQ candidate — Courtney DeDi) and Devin Barrington Ward in District 9.
The group also made a dual endorsement in the Atlanta Board of Education At-Large Seat 7 race. GE backed both gay educator and advocate Stephen Spring and progressive LGBTQ ally Royce Mann.
Georgia Equality also endorsed gay educator Brett Reichert for a seat on the Hapeville City Council and made two LGBTQ picks in Tucker: Robin Biro for mayor and Imani Barnes for City Council District 2, Post 1. All three would make history as the first openly LGBTQ people to hold those positions.
Runoffs loom large
Georgia Equality opted not to endorse a candidate in the Atlanta mayoral race and some Atlanta City Council races, citing the large number of candidates. Instead, the group’s board rated some LGBTQ candidates and their opponents as “satisfactory” based on their responses to a survey.
The board plans to “reassess that decision ahead of the inevitable runoff election,” which takes place on Nov. 30.
Georgia Equality rated six LGBTQ Atlanta candidates as “satisfactory” without an outright endorsement, including Antonio Brown for mayor. The others are Atlanta City Council candidates Kelly-Jeanne Lee in District 1, Larry Carter in District 4, Brandon Goldberg and Jereme Sharpe for Post 1 At-Large and Keisha Waites for Post 3 At-Large.
Candidates not listed as “satisfactory” either didn’t submit a survey, or the group found the candidate’s survey responses “insufficient.” Georgia Equality did not differentiate those two categories.
The only two LGBTQ council candidates that Georgia Equality did not list, satisfactory or otherwise, were Mike Russell for Atlanta City Council president and Jason Hudgins for Atlanta City Council District 10.
Early voting runs through Oct. 29. Election Day is Nov. 2. Here is the full list of Georgia Equality’s municipal election endorsements:
City of Atlanta
City Council Post 2, at-large: Matt Westmoreland (i)
City Council District 5: Liliana Bakhtiari
City Council District 6: Alex Wan
City Council District 9: Devin Barrington-Ward
City Council District 10: Andrea Boone (i)
City Council District 11: Marci Overstreet (i)
City Council District 12: Joyce Sheperd (i)
Board of Education District 4: Mikayla Arciaga
Board of Education, District 7 at-large (dual endorsement): Stephen Spring and Royce Mann
Board of Education District 8 at Large: Cynthia Briscoe Brown (i)
Board of Education District 9 at Large: Jason Esteves (i)
City of Brookhaven
City Council District 2: John Park (i)
City Council District 4: John Funny
City of Clarkston
City Council: YT Bell
City Council: Susan Hood
City Council: Larry McClam
City of Decatur
City Council District 1 Post A: Kelly Walsh (i)
City of Doraville
City Council District 2: Chris Henshaw
City of Hapeville
City Council, At Large: Brett Reichert
City of Tucker
Mayor: Robin Biro
City Council District 2, Post 1: Imani Barnes
City Council, District 3 Post 1: Alexis Weaver
City of Atlanta
Mayor of Atlanta
Antonio Brown: Satisfactory
Andre Dickens: Satisfactory
Nolan English: Satisfactory
Sharon Gay: Satisfactory
Rebecca King: Satisfactory
Felicia Moore: Satisfactory
Kasim Reed: Satisfactory
Glenn Wrightson: Satisfactory
City Council President
Natalyn Archibong: Satisfactory
Courtney English: Satisfactory
Doug Shipman: Satisfactory
City Council Post 1, at-large
Michael Julian Bond (i): Satisfactory
Alfred “Shivy” Brooks: Satisfactory
Brandon Goldberg: Satisfactory
Todd Gray: Satisfactory
Jereme Sharpe: Satisfactory
City Council Post 3, at-large
Jacki Labat: Satisfactory
Ralph Long III: Satisfactory
Jodi Merriday: Satisfactory
Keisha Waites: Satisfactory
Sherry Williams: Satisfactory
City Council District 1
Nathan Clubb: Satisfactory
Russell Hopson: Satisfactory
Kelly-Jeanne Lee: Satisfactory
Jason Winston: Satisfactory
City Council District 3
Byron Amos: Satisfactory
Erika Estrada: Satisfactory
Keona Jones: Satisfactory
Elijah Porter: Satisfactory
City Council District 4
Rogelio Arcila: Satisfactory
Larry Carter II: Satisfactory
Jason Dozier: Satisfactory
Kim Scott: Satisfactory