There are six candidates, a spread that includes three gay men, one straight guy and two straight women. Or put another way, a couple of white folks, an Asian, a Latin, a Buddhist and someone who attended high school in Kuwait. It’s exactly the sort of diversity you’ll find in the district that includes Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Morningside and portions of Druid Hills.
The twists in the race already include an incumbent who decided against seeking a third term, a challenger who stepped in only to step out a few months later and a candidate who lost by just a handful of votes four years ago.
Now add this: Candidates Alex Wan (photo) and Liz Coyle (photo) both resigned their seats on city boards that deal with development issues. You’d think that might be the sort of experience that helps, not hurts, a political candidate.
Coyle resigned her seat on the board of Atlanta Beltline Inc. on Aug. 17, though she doesn’t step down until the end of the month. Wan followed suit on Monday, resigning his seat on the board of the Atlanta Development Authority.
Both did so to clear up any perception of a conflict of interest and to focus on the crowded campaign. (It also didn’t hurt that the Atlanta City Council — itself a quagmire of conflicts of interest — passed legislation Aug. 17 stating that candidates for citywide office can’t serve on the boards like those of ABI and ADA.)
“Before officially qualifying, I wanted to further demonstrate my absolute commitment to the people of District 6 and ensure there was no perception of a conflict between my ADA service and my City Council campaign,” Wan says in a press release.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve ADA and the city of Atlanta since my appointment by City Council in 2006, working for the economic improvement of the city of Atlanta. I have learned so much from my fellow Board members and the incredible ADA staff, and I intend to put that experience to work for our great city’s future,” he adds.
Coyle tells Creative Loafing about the same:
“While I believe it in my heart there was no conflict, [the issue] was a concern for me,” she said. “But truly the main motivation is focusing my energy on running for City Council District 6.”
Stay tuned. There’s sure to be more in this ready-for-reality-TV campaign.