ATLANTA — A political newcomer says in order to really make things better, he has to run for mayor.
Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown came onto the political scene like a lightning bolt, creating change and controversy in the blink of an eye.
Now he tells Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston that he’s ready for the next step as he runs to become Atlanta’s mayor with the feds looking over his shoulder.
“It was time for Atlanta to experience something different,” Brown said.
Brown told Huddleston he wants to make the city a better place for everyone.
“It’s time for change, and it’s not just Black, poor people. It’s about a working middle class. It’s about a system that’s been broken for so long,” Brown said.
Huddleston has covered Brown for more than two years, starting when he swooped in ran and won a city council seat in a special election.
Atlanta currently has a strong-mayor, weak-council setup. Brown said now is the time to make big moves to really help the city.
“Change that has the ability to move people and cities and states,” Brown said.
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But Brown is also facing some issues, including a July 2020 federal indictment that charges Brown with trying to defraud several financial institutions, mail fraud and making false statements on a bank loan.
“Of course, there’s this federal indictment out there. Why should people vote for you with that looming in the background?” Huddleston asked Brown.
“I would not be running for mayor if I felt an inkling, feeling that I would not be vindicated and innocent of all charges,” Brown said.
“But why should I vote for you?” Huddleston asked Brown. “We are no longer looking for politicians to be perfect,” Brown said.
Brown said charges do not mean he is guilty of anything and he’s ready to fight. But with Atlanta voters still dizzy from a slew of city hall corruption charges, Brown’s case might be too much to overlook.
“I’m not a perfect politician, Dave. I’ll never be one, but what I am is a fighter with a vision that’s going to fight relentlessly, every day for the residents of Atlanta,” Brown said.
Including Brown, there are five major candidates running for mayor.
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