Real estate consultant, political strategist and retired U.S. Army ranger Robin Biro is taking his years of Democratic Party activism to the ballot and running for mayor of Tucker.
Biro, 46, would be the city’s first LGBTQ mayor if elected. DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry and DeKalb Democratic Committee Chair John Jackson recruited him.
When they did, he decided to follow advice he gave during 1,500 guest appearances on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other networks.
“I always tell viewers to get involved at the local level, so when they approached me to get involved at the local level, I couldn’t say no,” he told Project Q Atlanta.
Doraville City Councilmember Stephe Koontz also helped convince Biro to jump into the race. Koontz, the state’s only openly transgender elected official, is thankful he did.
“Tucker needs a mayor that represents all the people who live there, and I know Robin Biro will do that,” she said.
Biro was a regional field director for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. He later served as a U.S. Army Ranger then returned to Democratic Party activism. He’s the former political director for the Fulton County Democratic Party and was an at-large delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Biro moved from Midtown to Tucker in 2017 and is now a commercial real estate consultant and U.S. Army reservist. He became a single father in 2019 after taking legal guardianship of his two half-brothers following their father’s death. Biro said the boys, who moved from a remote part of Colorado, are doing well.
“There’s an army of lesbian moms out here that have been working with play dates to help us get adjusted to the community,” he said. “They’re straight-A students, getting involved in sports and making friends. It’s so awesome.”
Biro launched his campaign earlier this month. He wants to tackle blight, crime and homelessness.
“We’ve got about 70 homeless people whose needs we need to address,” he said. “We need to have affordable housing for people of all ages and walks of life.”
Biro praised the Tucker City Council’s work on parks and recreation, but he doesn’t want the city to rely solely on SPLOST funds for that work.
“The funds run out in 2026 and we need to figure out a way to operate beyond 2026,” he said.
Biro: Current mayor blocking LGBTQ ordinance
Adopting an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Tucker would be a priority for Biro. The effort to pass the measure stalled in 2020.
Biro, Koontz and several LGBTQ appointees to boards and commissions in Tucker said that Mayor Frank Auman and the city council are “intentionally holding up” the ordinance.
“The mayor won’t hear the amendment,” Biro said. “He’s refused to let it be read for consideration. He said discrimination doesn’t exist in Tucker so we don’t need one.”
Biro said the issue highlights a lack of representative government in Tucker.
“I’ve been out canvassing the neighborhoods, and about 80 percent of them support the nondiscrimination amendment,” he said. “Their concerns haven’t been represented by the incumbent.”
“Elections exist to remove people from office who are out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent,” Koontz added.
Auman did not respond to Project Q’s questions about the ordinance and whether he’s running for reelection.
Twelve cities across Georgia have LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, with 11 of them passing in just the last three years. Two more municipalities – Athens-Clarke County and Columbus –are poised to adopt ordinances this month.
Biro is one of at least four LGBTQ candidates running for mayor in cities across Georgia in November. Atlanta City Councilmember Antonio Brown announced his campaign for mayor in June. Brian Mock is running in Chamblee and City Councilmember Khalid Kamau is running in South Fulton.
Biro said an LGBTQ mayor in Tucker would send a positive message to youth.
“It shows you don’t have to be limited in any way,” he said. “You can do whatever your heart desires.”
Qualifying for the race is in August.
An Emory University research scientist is running to become Tucker’s first Black and first LGBTQ member of the city council. Imani Barnes launched her campaign earlier this year.
The DeKalb County city was incorporated in 2015 and elected its first mayor and city council in 2016.
(h/t Tucker Observer)