Engineer Andre Dickens Will Be Atlanta’s Next Mayor, Received Strong Support In Southwest And Eastside ATL

Engineer Andre Dickens Will Be Atlanta’s Next Mayor, Received Strong Support In Southwest And Eastside ATL

Andre Dickens

Engineer Andre Dickens Will Be Atlanta’s Next Mayor, Received Strong Support In Southwest And Eastside ATL. In this photo, Atlanta mayoral runoff candidate Andre Dickens celebrates with supporters just before the close of polls, Nov. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. Dickens won the runoff election to become Atlanta’s next mayor, riding a surge of support that powered him past Felicia Moore, after finishing second to her earlier in November. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

There’s a new mayor-elect in Atlanta and his name is Andre Dickens. The former city council member bested current City Council President Felicia Moore in a runoff on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Moore was favored to win as she garnered 41 percent of the vote during the primary election on Nov. 2 in a race that included 14 candidates. However, it was Dickens who walked away the mayoral victor after getting heavy support from Atlanta’s Southwest and Eastside, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reported.

“Tonight, I am beyond humbled that you have even chosen me, you’ve elected me to be the 61st Mayor of Atlanta,” Dickens said during his victory speech at his watch party after the Associated Press called the race in his favor. He added he was grateful for the “faith” residents placed in him by electing him.

Dickens, 47, defeated Moore, 60, in several precincts she’d won just weeks earlier and the final vote tally shows Dickens received 63.7 percent of the vote to Moore’s 36.3 percent. He noted the irony of the moment because he was the underdog in the race.

“This same year when I announced that I would be running for mayor, some people even counted me out back then, 6 months ago,” Dickens said. “They said again, I was dreaming way too big. … But then we got together. We scrapped and we scraped and we fought to get our message out to the entire city of Atlanta. And four weeks ago we proved them wrong again when we made it into the runoffs.”

Dickens also said he told his mother he wanted to be mayor of Atlanta when he was a kid.

Several Atlanta leaders endorsed him including current Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Mayor Shirley Franklin. Bottoms, who announced in May that she would not seek another term, sent Dickens a congratulatory message on social media.

“The future of our city is in good hands,” Bottoms tweeted.

The joy Dickens and his supporters felt at fulfilling his lifelong dream permeated the room at The Gathering Spot and he couldn’t contain his excitement. “How great does this feel?” Dickens asked the crowd with a huge smile on his face.

“This is a uniquely Atlanta experience. This is a uniquely Atlanta story. How does a boy from Adamsville, where they give you a 4 percent chance of making it to the upper-middle class, how does this happen in the city of Atlanta? I was counted out way back then,” Dickens recalled.

However, Dickens did what he’s done much of his life: overcome the odds. An Atlanta native, the engineer and nonprofit tech executive was a first-generation college student who received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech and a master of public administration in economic development from Georgia State University.

In addition to serving as Atlanta’s Post 3 at-large councilmember, Dickens is also the chief development officer for TechBridge, a nonprofit that drives community impact by bringing affordable technology and business expertise to other nonprofits, his website states.

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Dickens ran on a platform of public safety, transportation, workforce development, affordable housing, educational opportunities for Atlanta public school students, youth engagement, and seasoned citizens programming.

Moore conceded the election with grace, urging her supporters to support Dickens and work with his administration so they can build a better Atlanta for all. ”There’s no division tonight between the Dickens and the Moore camp because we’re all camp Atlanta,” Moore said.

“We have to be called to do the thing that we wanted everyone else to do, and that brings this city together,” Moore continued, urging Buckhead residents to stop trying to secede and work with Dickens. “We have some very serious challenges to face in this city.”

Dickens also spoke highly of Moore’s service and said he looks forward to working with her. “She’s put in 24 years of service and I know that she loves this city, and I hope that she’s around as we move this city forward,” Dickens said.