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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Buckhead Coalition makes its favorites known

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Have you been wondering which city candidates were most likely to be anointed by powerful northside CEOs? Well, wonder no more, because the Buckhead Coalition has spoken — by putting a not-inconsiderable sum of money where its mouth is.

Like the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition doesn't do direct endorsements. Unlike the Chamber's questionnaire process, the Coalition makes its picks known with sizable campaign contributions through a PAC.

So here's who got the cash:

  • In Council races where an incumbent faces opposition, the Coalition gave the incumbent the $2,400 maximum contribution.
  • In contested races without an incumbent, the $2,400 max went to Yolanda Adrean for District 8, Michael Bond for at-large Post 1 and Ceasar Mitchell for President. For reasons not made clear, the Coalition made no contributions in the races for District 6, District 11 and at-large Post 2.
  • The Coalition split its donations in the mayor's race, giving Mary Norwood $1,344 (56%), Kasim Reed $528 (22%), and Lisa Borders $528 (22%).

Based on these results, I have to guess the decision over the mayor's race provoked a fight within the Coalition's ranks, perhaps also involving the group's president, Sam Massell, a former Atlanta mayor. I've noticed that Norwood's early campaign contributors include some of the Coalition's principals; plus, she's a Buckhead gal through and through, so it's not altogether surprising those boys would lean in her direction.

But then Clair Muller is a longtime northsider and the Coalition instead gave the nod — and the check — to Mitchell in the Council president's race. So go figure.

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