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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mayor's race begins in earnest at witching hour Friday

If you happen to see a crowd on the steps of the state Capitol at midnight this Friday, relax – you haven't missed the release of the newest GameBoy console.

click to enlarge Kasim Reed
  • Kasim Reed

Instead, it's what I consider to be the starting whistle of the Atlanta mayor's race. Just after the stroke of midnight will have brought the 2009 General Assembly to a merciful close, state Sen. Kasim Reed, D-Atlanta, is scheduled to convene a campaign rally on the steps on the Capitol.

At that moment, all three (or four, depending who's counting) of the leading candidates will be firmly in the race:

  • City Council President Lisa Borders will have just announced her return to the race a day or two earlier (we'll let you know when it happens…)

  • Councilwoman Mary Norwood undoubtedly will have conducted her 5,712th community meet-and-greet that afternoon

  • Reed will be done with the legislative session and able to raise funds again, assuming he doesn't get mugged this Friday on the Capitol steps (hey, that can be a rough neighborhood after dark)

  • and attorney Jesse Spikes will, presumably, still be trying to tell Atlanta who he is

Frankly, with Borders about to re-enter the race, I don't see any more room for  Johnny-come-lately candidates. That includes such folks as Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts, who would have to share whatever constituency he still has with Borders (the business community); Norwood (Buckhead residents); and Reed (people who want to vote for a black man).

No, my guess is that the field that hits the campaign trail this weekend is what we'll see on the November ballot, minus whoever drops out along the way.

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