Atlanta’s first openly gay City Councilman Antonio Brown jumps in mayoral race

In 2019, Brown, at 30, became the youngest Atlanta City Council member ever elected. He's now under federal indictment.

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Progressive city councilman Antonio Brown has filed paperwork allowing him to start raising funds for a run for mayor in Atlanta.

Brown, who is openly gay, will join a wide field of candidates expected to emerge after Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she will not seek re-election.

Openly gay Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown (above) will join a wide field of mayoral candidates expected to emerge since Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she will not seek re-election.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brown said he thinks city policies on crime and poverty have been reactionary and not focused on solving real, systemic issues.

“Folks keep blaming the pandemic for the rising crime, but no one talks about the root of the issue that is driven by this systemic poverty that has transpired for so long,” he said. “Why are we such a reactive city? When do we start looking towards the future?”

Brown’s “Committee to Reimagine Atlanta Together” is expected to formally announce his candidacy for mayor this week. In 2019, Brown, at age 30, became the youngest City Council member elected in Atlanta’s history.

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He is currently under federal indictment, accused of lying about his income on applications to obtain loans and credit cards used for personal purchases. The incidents occurred before his run for and election to Atlanta City Council.

In a statement to The AJC, Brown said he is “thankful for the three amazing female attorneys who are fighting to prove my innocence. In the meantime, I will continue to fight for the people of Atlanta.”

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Brown has a wide range of ideas about reimaging safety in the city, including hiring a public safety commissioner and creating a non-emergency response unit to deal with mental health calls.

Last week, Mayor Bottoms announced in a private call with supporters that she would not seek re-election to a second term. As previously reported, she said she has a love for Atlanta that was planted in her heart. “In the same way that it was abundantly clear to me almost five years I should run for mayor of Atlanta,” she maintained, “it is abundantly clear to me today that is time to pass the baton on to someone else.”

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