Everything you need to know about the Atlanta Mayoral race

ATLANTA — There are more than a dozen people running to be Atlanta’s next mayor and they will all face a myriad of issues impacting the city.

Current Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she would not seek re-election. It took many by surprise.

“I have given thoughtful prayer and consideration to the season now before us, it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor,” she said in a letter to the city.

Following that announcement, 14 people have now thrown their hat in the race. The biggest issues facing them are rising violent crime, housing issues, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Buckhead community’s fight to become its own city.

The five leading candidates for mayor include city councilmembers Antonio Brown and Andre Dickens, attorney Sharon Gay, City Council President Felicia Moore, and former Mayor Kasim Reed.

Other candidates include Roosevelt Searles III, Kirsten Dunn, Kenny Hill, Walter Reeves, Mark Hammad, Richard Wright, Nolan English, Rebecca King and Glenn Wrightson.

The latest poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows the race for Atlanta mayor is a tossup, with Reed and Moore in a statistical dead heat and nearly 41% of likely voters still undecided.

On Oct. 10, WSB-TV held its own debate with the top five candidates running for mayor. The debate focused mainly on the biggest issue facing the candidates: crime and public safety.

Just minutes into the debate, Reed clashed with Moore about paying for more Atlanta police officers.

“We will quickly hire 750 police officers,” Reed said.

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“We’re going to get the equivalent of 200 cops on the streets in the first 100 days,” Moore said.

All the candidates weighed in on Atlanta voters’ No. 1 concern – fighting the city’s crime problem.

“People are fed up, and I’m fed up too. No woman should be brutally murdered while walking their dog at night. No child should be shot Christmas shopping with their family,” Gay said.

“We talk about putting more police officers on the streets of Atlanta, but we cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem. We cannot continue to be reactive,” Brown said.

“We are, in fact, in a crime wave, and it’s the job of the mayor to make sure that this is just a spike right now and not the new normal, which is why I have a comprehensive plan,” Dickens said.

Under Georgia’s new voting law, voters will need to submit a driver’s license number, state ID number or other documentation when both requesting and returning absentee ballots.

The last opportunity to return an absentee ballot application is 11 days before Election Day.

Georgia’s voting law permits drop boxes if they’re located inside early voting locations, available only during in-person voting hours, and shut down when early voting ends the Friday before an election.

Early voting hours are set at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election officials can choose longer hours, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The new law bans distributing food and drinks to voters within 150 feet of the outer edge of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line.

Poll workers can still install self-service water receptacles for voters waiting in line. Handing out water is a misdemeanor, amounting up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The runoff election day for the races will occur Tuesday, Nov. 30. A runoff will occur if none of the candidates get more than 50% of the vote.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this article.