In a runoff election Tuesday, voters chose City Councilman Andre Dickens as Atlanta’s next mayor, following campaign jobs focused on an increase in violent crime in Georgia’s largest city.

Mr. Dickens was declared the winner of the two-person race by the Associated Press jobs late Tuesday night, with 62 percent of the votes in the two-person race, with 44 percent of precincts reporting. Both are Democrats, even though the position is officially nonpartisan.

Mr. Dickens, 47, will succeed outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. They chose not to run for re-election following 2020 protests, vandalism, a police shooting that sparked further unrest, and increased murders and other violent crimes. Mr. Dickens had been endorsed in the runoff by Mayor Bottoms.

Mr. Dickens finished second in the general election on Nov. 2 behind Ms. Moore, 60, in a field of 14 candidates. A runoff was required by law because Ms. Moore did not receive more than 50% of the vote. If elected, both candidates stated that combating crime would be one of their top priorities.

Like many other U.S. cities, Atlanta has seen an increase in violent crime since the Covid-19 pandemic began. According to Atlanta police statistics, as of Nov. 13, murders in Atlanta were up 10% from the same year-to-date period in 2020 and up 57% from the same period in 2019. Rapes, aggravated assaults, and auto thefts all increased in comparison to 2020.

Mr. Dickens promised during the campaign to install 10,000 new streetlights, security cameras, and license-plate readers in the city and hire hundreds of new police officer jobs.

A widespread belief that crime is out of control has prompted some in Buckhead, Atlanta’s wealthiest neighborhood, to propose breaking away from the city. On Nov. 18, several Republican state senators introduced legislation for the 2022 legislative session proposing a referendum on the issue and plans for the neighborhood to be incorporated as a separate city if the referendum passes. Atlanta officials are concerned about the proposal because it would result in a significant loss of tax revenue.

Source: WSJ

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