He’s back. Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has officially announced his reelection bid.
Atlanta’s current mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced in May that she would not seek election following the end of her first term. She was elected in 2017.
He formally entered the Atlanta mayor’s race at his recent 52nd birthday party, telling a cheering crowd, “I’m back” while celebrating at a $1,000-per-guest fundraiser, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“Atlanta, it’s time to go,” Reed said in a video that was tweeted by @ShibaRussell. “Atlanta, tell LA, tell New York, tell Charlotte, tell Dallas, tell Chicago and definitely tell Miami — I’m back,” he said.
AJC political reporter Greg Bluestein (@Greg Bluestein) tweeted, “Well, it’s even more official…One attendee described it an ’emotionally cathartic return.’”
Reed served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003, and the Georgia Senate from the 35th district
from 2003 to 2009. He served two terms as Atlanta mayor from 2010 to 2017.
His mayoral election bid could get bogged down in scandal. Georgia Ethics Watchdogs filed an ethics complaint against Reed on June 10, alleging that he violated campaign finance disclosure laws, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. According to the complaint, the former mayor failed to file two year-end reports while maintaining $166,000 in his campaign account after leaving office.
Reed has said that he has never been accused of any wrongdoing as an individual. Six members of his administration were indicted.
Some on Twitter weren’t impressed with Reed’s announcement.
“Nope,” Bebe @03Bisola tweeted. “Where has he been since he was last Mayor? Had not seen him using his voice for the voter suppression happening here in Ga or during the runoffs. He dropped off the face of the Earth and used none of his leadership in the fight for Voting Rights.”
During Reed’s tenure as mayor, a federal corruption investigation ensnared several members of his administration, including bribery convictions against his chief procurement officer and a deputy chief of staff, AJC reported.
The investigation dates to 2015, but it was not publicly revealed until 2017. The probe’s first trial involves Mitzi Bickers, who ran the Get Out The Vote portion of Reed’s first mayoral campaign and became his director of human services. Bickers pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment that alleges a $2 million bribery scheme, and her trial could start in January — after the next mayor is inaugurated.
Other contenders already in Atlanta’s mayoral race include City Council President Felicia Moore, councilmembers Andre Dickens and Antonio Brown, along with attorney Sharon Gay.
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