Two LGBT candidates drop out of Atlanta City Council races

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A dozen LGBT candidates are campaigning for votes in races across metro Atlanta this fall. But the surprisingly large field of gay candidates has shrunk by two – Tyai Green and Lock Whiteside dropped out of their Atlanta City Council races.

Green (photo right), a community activist and former leader of In The Life Atlanta, which hosts Black Gay Pride, dropped out of the race for the Post 1 At-Large seat on Aug. 25. He announced his departure in a Facebook post, but said little about why he ended a campaign he started in May.

“I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am, too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love for the city,” Green said.

In stepping out of the race, Green also endorsed Courtney English. The current chair of the Atlanta School Board faces incumbent City Council member Michael Julian Bond in the Post 1 At-Large race.

Green failed to raise any money for his campaign, according to financial disclosure forms, and dropped out of the race before he had to pay the $1,800 qualifying fee.

“I got tired of saying ‘let’s have some change, let’s have some change,’ and I kind of live by the motto ‘be the change,’ don’t just talk about the change, be the change. And so that’s why I decided to run,” Green said when he announced in May.

In the District 6 race, Whiteside also failed to qualify in late August. The middle school teacher announced in February, laying out priorities for his campaign that included education, public safety, affordable housing, economic development and the LGBT community. He also highlighted the HIV epidemic, which he said is particularly important to him as a black, gay man.

Whiteside did not respond to an inquiry from Project Q Atlanta about leaving the race. He reported raising just $245 in campaign contributions and nearly $800 in expenses. Whiteside's departure leaves two candidates – Kirk Rich and Jennifer Ide. 

But even with Green and Whiteside dropping out, at least 12 LGBT candidates are running. They include Stephe Koontz and Joseph Geierman, who are running for the Doraville City Council. Others are Josh McNair and Reese McCranie for the District 4 post on the Fulton County Commission, Cathy Woolard and Laban King for Atlanta mayor, and Alex Wan for Atlanta City Council president. Several LGBT candidates are also running for Atlanta City Council, including Rich, Liliana Bakhtiari and Bill Powell. 

Charlie Stadtlander is campaigning for an Atlanta School Board seat. Christopher Weed is running for the East Point City Council.


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