Georgia Equality is endorsing two openly gay incumbents as well as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the Nov. 5 election, but takes a pass on backing anyone in the Atlanta City Council District 5 race that has drawn three openly gay challengers of an LGBT friendly incumbent.
The state's largest LGBT advocacy organization also gives "favorable ratings" in Atlanta Council races to the incumbents and their challengers — to Atlanta City Council Post 2 At Large incumbent Aaron Watson and his challenger, Mary Norwood; and also to Lamar Willis, Atlanta City Council Post 3 At Large incumbent, and his challenger, Andre Dickens.
In the Atlanta City Council District 5 race, LGBT ally and incumbent Natalyn Archibong faces opposition from three openly gay candidates: Christian Enterkin, Jon Jones and Matt Rinker.
“This election cycle has been especially difficult for us in other key races, due to the exceptional commitment to LGBT rights demonstrated by both incumbents and challengers," said Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham in a prepared statement.
"Therefore, after careful consideration, the board has decided to report favorably on multiple candidates in the Post 2 and Post 3 At-large races and to issue no endorsement in the contested District 5 race.”
Added Graham: “The City of Atlanta continues to lead Georgia in its policies and treatment of LGBT citizens, and we feel it is important to continue to support these incumbents who have been so instrumental in supporting and expanding municipal protections and working to advance issues of fairness by passing resolutions and making public statements in support of gay and lesbian couples and our freedom to marry the person we love."
Those receiving endorsements:
• Alex Wan for Atlanta City Council District 6. Wan, who is openly gay, is seeking his second term to the council and faces two challengers, Tracey Austin and Mike Boyle. Wan successfully sponsored a resolution approved unanimously by the council to publicly support marriage equality.
• Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Reek is vying for a second term and faces no serious opposition. Reed came out in support of same-sex marriage in December after the council passed Wan's resolution showing its support.
• Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who served as a council member from 2001 to 2009 before being elected as president.
• Carla Smith for Atlanta City Council District 1. Smith co-sponsored the marriage equality resolution with Wan.
• Brian Bates of the Doraville City Council is vying for another term in office after being the first known openly gay Republican elected to office in Georgia in 2007. He faces one challenger, Dawn O'Connor.
“As an openly gay elected official, Brian has worked diligently to pass municipal protections based on both sexual orientation and gender identity in the City of Doraville," Graham said. "He has also been instrumental in building support for similar measures in the City of Chamblee and in working to elect other openly gay and lesbian candidates throughout the State of Georgia."
• Clyde Mitchell, an East Point City Council member now running for the mayor's seat. He is going up against incumbent Mayor Earnestine Pittman and two other candidates, Andrew Korta and Jannquell Peters.
“With a strong and growing LGBT community in the City of East Point, it is important to have a city leader who will be actively engaged with the local LGBT community and join other leaders in the metro-Atlanta region in advocating for LGBT rights," Graham said of Mitchell.
Read the slate of endorsements and more about the incumbents and candidates by clicking here.