Jon Jones, who was seeking to be the first black gay man elected to the Atlanta City Council, has dropped out of the race, according to a report in the Atlanta Progressive News.
A call to Jones, who was vying for the District 5 seat currently held by Natalyn Archibong, was not immediately returned. His website, Facebook page and Twitter account do not have any reports of his decision to drop out of the race.
The election is Nov. 5 but early voting is taking place now.
Before Jones dropped out, there were four opponents trying to unseat Archibong, who has held the District 5 seat since 2001.
The three remaining candidates are Matt Rinker and Christine Enterkin, both openly gay; and John Paul Michalik.
You can read about each of these candidates and their stances on LGBT issues in Friday's edition of the GA Voice.
Jones is now backing Archibong in the race, according to APN.
"If I stay in the race, it could fracture the vote. It could lead to District 5 losing… someone who’s genuinely worked on their behalf, and replaced with a candidate that’s unknown, Matt Rinker or Christian Enterkin. They stand on their promises, but they don’t come close to the record that Natalyn has,” Jones told APN.
Archibong told APN she was "humbled" by Jones backing her.
In recent weeks, the District 5 race has become somewhat controversial. Last month, Archibong settled with the city's Board of Etchics to pay a $250 fine for failing to disclose paying her brother's company more than $11,000 between 2007 and 2008. Read the entire settlement agreement, provided by Creative Loafing.
According to the settlement, Archibong cooperated fully with the investigation and stated she did not "intentionally" violate the Code of Ethics.
Enterkin said in a statement to Creative Loafing, "As a resident and taxpayer, I'm very disappointed that Incumbent Natalyn Archibong paid her brother over eleven thousand taxpayer dollars ($11,013.46, to be precise) and failed to disclose it until an ethics charge was filed against her. Archibong (an attorney) should easily understand basic ethics laws. The voters in District 5 deserve a councilmember who will maintain high ethical standards and who will not put family members on payroll."
A YouTube video released last week allegedly shows a person stealing one of Archibong's campaign signs from a supporter's lawn.
Archibong posted on her website this response to the video:
Over the past few weeks I have been contacted by many of you about the negative campaign tactics of some of my opponents. Up until now, I have been silent because I recognize an individual’s right to run for public office, and respect the hard work of challengers to get their message out.
But when the rights of our neighbors are violated, because of who they support, I must say enough is enough. I have recently been made aware of a video that shows— what has been reported as— one of my opponent’s team members criminally trespassing on a neighbor’s private property to steal an Archibong yard sign. Perhaps, even more egregious is their attempt to suppress the first Amendment rights of our neighbors.
We have worked too hard to get District 5 where it is today. Though there is still work to be done, there are few who can argue with our progress. When I committed to run for re-election, my decision was based on my record and commitment to serve—not fear tactics and politically charged moves to suppress the rights of our neighbors!