Monday, November 5, 2012

Say Obama wins re-election and taps the mayor to join his administration — what happens to little ole Atlanta?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell
The rumor mill is abuzz with talk that, should President Barack Obama win a second and final term on Nov. 6, as some overconfident people are saying he will, Mayor Kasim Reed, one of the commander-in-chief's biggest cheerleaders, will be asked to join his administration.

Maybe he'd be named commerce secretary. Or transportation chief. Or perhaps something involving the labor department. The possibilities are endless.

Now, the mayor has made very clear that he's running for re-election in 2013 and wants to serve a second term. (Which is exactly the thing an elected official should say if his or her name is even being linked with a potential presidential appointment.)

But let's say Reed does get tapped by Obama to move to Washington, D.C. Who becomes mayor?

Can you say "Hail Ceasar Mitchell?"

If the mayor were to resign, based on our reading of the city code, a special election is to be called by the Atlanta City Council within 15 days "to fill the balance of the unexpired term"

But if the mayor's office is vacated less than one year before a regular election for the position, which would be the case since the next mayoral election is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2013, then the president of the City Council President would be named mayor for the remainder of the term.

Which means that Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who once pondered running to become the city's chief executive, would be handed the reins to City Hall — at least until next November, when voters would cast ballots in the next scheduled municipal elections.

Now, if Romney wins... well, that's another story.

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