Atlanta’s municipal election season officially began Monday as officeholders and their challengers entered a weeklong qualifying period.
Mayor Kasim Reed, who faces little real opposition for his second term, kicked off the proceedings with a rally as candidates for City Council seats and the Atlanta school board officially filed paperwork for their respective nonpartisan races.
Municipal elections are being held statewide this November. In Atlanta, Reed’s re-election is all but a certain victory, so eyes are turning toward council races as competitions to watch.
But that didn’t stop the mayor from touting his successes on City Hall steps Monday. A jovial Reed, who has raised more than $2.5 million in recent years and has more than half of that in his campaign war chest, said he held the event to dispel any rumors he is eyeing a higher office — at least for the next four years.
The event comes days after Reed was elected to the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee, a confirmation of his growing national status. The mayor also made passing mention of a trip to Washington this week, where he’ll join President Barack Obama in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
“Hopefully now that I’ve qualified and paid my qualifying fees, nobody thinks there is any other job that would take me away from the city of Atlanta,” he told a crowd of supporters and a handful of protesters from the Atlanta Vendors Association, upset that after a long legal battle with the city they are still unable to sell their goods on public streets.
“I got my dream job,” he later added. “I think I make being mayor look real sexy.”