Alex Wan celebrates re-election to Atlanta City Council with party on Cheshire Bridge Road

Wan’s watch party Tuesday was held at the iconic Colonnade restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road. His proposed legislation earlier this year to ban adult stores on the popular corridor was blasted by many in the LGBT community and eventually voted down by the full city council.

It was a deliberate choice to celebrate his victory on this particular thoroughfare, he said.

“I’m a very big supporter of Cheshire Bridge Road and the Colonnade is symbolic to me of as one of the institutions of Cheshire Bridge Road. There are many businesses that continue to prosper here,” he said.

Wan, the only openly gay council member, said there will be no legislation similar to what he proposed during his first term for Cheshire Bridge Road, but plans are still in the works to find ways to help it thrive.

“In 30 to 60 days we hope to announce another initiative and improve Cheshire Bridge Road in a constructive way and not destructive way,” he said. “There were improvements that were started and not completed and hopefully we will find a way to complete that work.”

Running for a second term was humbling, Wan added.

“Campaigns are interesting. Choice is good for a district. It was interesting to see what my opponents had to say. And I realize there are things I have to work on in my community, not just the I am a part of but the ones I belong to. And I take that into my next term and will hopefully be a better council member,” he said.

“I am grateful that my friends and neighbors in District 6 have affirmed my track record. I am humbled and honored by the broad base of support during this campaign; it’s a great springboard for a recommitment to the kind of collaborate leadership in which I believe,” he said.

Wan was the first openly gay male elected to the Atlanta City Council. The District 6 seat has been held by an openly gay person since 1997 when Cathy Woolard was elected as the first openly gay person to hold public office in Georgia. Anne Fauver followed Woolard by serving two terms.

In other races:

• In another close race and major upset, political newcomer Andre Dickens beat three-term incumbent Lamar Willis for the Post 3 At-Large seat on the Atlanta City Council with 53 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Fulton election office. Willis, mired in ethics complaints and disbarred for fraud, was still endorsed by Mayor Reed. Dickens, however, got the support of former Mayor Shirley Franklin and former City Council President Cathy Woolard. Georgia Equality at first did not endorse in this race, but after Willis was disbarred the LGBT advocacy group threw its support behind Dickens. Dickens was also backed by the Stonewall Democrats.

• The messy Atlanta City Council District 5 race that included incumbent Natalyn Archibong suing the two gay candidates, Matt Rinker and Christian Enterkin for libel and slander, resulted in an easy victory for Archibong, according to Fulton County unofficial results. Archibong garnered 62 percent of the vote while Enterkin received 26 percent, Rinker got 7 percent and John Paul Michalik received 2 percent.

In a statement to GA Voice, Rinker said he wishes Archibong well.

“I wish Ms. Archibong the best of luck in her fourth term and hope that by entering this race, a dialogue has started and our neighborhoods will see positive changes over the next four year,” he said.

• Gay incumbent Brian Bates lost his re-election bid for the Doraville City Council, according to unofficial results from DeKalb County. Unofficial DeKalb voting results show O’Connor received 262 votes with Bates garnering 183. Bates was first elected in 2007 and was endorsed by Georgia Equality and the Log Cabin Republicans. He is believed to be the first openly gay Republican elected to office in Georgia.