Rebecca King Just Woke Up Atlanta Mayor’s Race
Buckhead Activist Tosses Hat in the Ring
Eighteen days before qualifying starts in the 2021 race for Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, Buckhead activist Rebecca King woke up the heretofore dull mayoral contest. King, the Chief Executive Officer of Cover Your Assets, an insurance documentation business, announced she is entering the campaign to become the next mayor of Atlanta.
Qualification for all municipal offices begins on August 17 and runs through August 21. King’s announcement comes three days after what Atlanta police describe as a “gruesome” murder of Katie Janness, a 40-year-old, and her dog Bowie, at the entrance of historic Piedmont Park.
If crimes were not already the most crucial issue facing candidates for mayor, the murder of Janness and the cruelty to her dog make it crystal clear that stopping violent crime is the ticket to the mayor’s office.
On the day that King announced her intentions to contend for the job, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that they had joined the Atlanta Police Department search for Kanness’ killer. The APD nor the FBI have explained what legal justification there is for the FBI’s involvement in this case.
Off the bat, King cited crime as her number one focus in wanting to be mayor. Her candidacy brings the number of women mayoral candidates to three. City Council President Felecia Moore has been running for over a year, and Attorney Sharon Gay entered the race a few months ago.
Given the potency of the women’s vote in Atlanta politics, King, a long-time member of Neighborhood Planning Unit B, is strong enough politically to cause a three-way split of the ballots cast by women in the November election. While Gay knows the big money interest in Buckhead, King has excellent name recognition on the grass-root level among neighborhood and small business groups.
Her candidacy directly challenges Gay’s support in the Buckhead community. Pitting the two White women in the race against each other could offer an opening for Moore, or one of three male candidates, Andre Dickens, Antonio Brown, or former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Moore, Dickens, and Brown have talked about reimaging policing in the city on the issue of crime. In contrast, Reed has vowed to add 500–750 more police officers on the streets to blanket criminal activity. Gay disagrees with Reed. She believes that methods used in the past may not be what the current moment needs. Yet, she does not have any concrete plans to address stopping violent crime.
In the coming months, expect to hear lofty speeches about the need to curtail crime. Impassioned speeches may sway voters, but on this critical issue, they should not. The race should boil down to who understands the criminal mind and has the uncompromising resolve to clamp down on lawlessness in the streets of Atlanta.
Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is the author of a book on Negro Leagues Baseball, The Duke of 18th & Vine: Bob Kendrick Pitches Negro Leagues Baseball. He writes feature stories for Black College Nines. Com. Harvey is a member of the Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, HBCU and PRO Sports Media Association, and a member of the Legends Committee for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Harvey is an engaging speaker. Contact Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.