From left: Keisha Waites, Khalid Kamau, and Liliana Bakhtiari all won their races / Photos via Instagram

Andre Dickens Wins Mayor, LGBTQ Candidates Make History in Runoff Elections

Following yesterday’s (November 30) runoff election in Atlanta, several LGBTQ and allied candidates won their races.

Winning 63.7 percent of the vote, according to the New York Times, Andre Dickens will replace Keisha Lance Bottoms as Mayor of Atlanta. Dickens was elected in 2013 to the Post 3 at-large seat on the Atlanta City Council. In interviews with both Georgia Voice and the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, he expressed his dedication to addressing issues impacting LGBTQ Atlantans, like anti-transgender violence, the handling of the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funding, and Atlanta’s HIV epidemic. Dickens also intends on continuing the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board established by Bottoms.

“[A]s mayor, I would ensure that I am engaging with all parts of the city and with the LGBTQ community specifically,” he told Georgia Voice back in October. “Listening first is something I’ve made a priority in my time on council, and I plan to continue that as mayor. In addition, it is important to continue the work that has been started at City Hall through the Mayor’s LGBTQ liaison and LGBTQ Advisory Board. I intend to work with the LGBTQ community to utilize the Advisory Board to its fullest extent. Lastly, I plan to revitalize and prioritize the City’s Human Relations Commission by providing more autonomy, authority, and funding.”

Several LGBTQ candidates made history yesterday, as well.

Liliana Bakhtiari also won her runoff election for a seat on the City Council representing District 5 with 68 percent of the vote according to 11 Alive. With her win, she has become the first LGBTQ Muslim to be elected to office in Georgia.

Keisha Waites also won her runoff for the Post 3 at-large seat on the City Council with 53 percent of the vote. With Alex Wan, who won his election to represent District 6 on Election Day, there are now three LGBTQ councilmembers – the most to ever serve on the Atlanta City Council at the same time.

Khalid Kamau also made history by defeating incumbent Bill Edwards for Mayor of South Fulton with 59 percent of the vote, making him the city’s first LGBTQ mayor and the sixth in Georgia.

The full Atlanta runoff election results are as follows:

Doug Shipman: Atlanta City Council President (54 percent)

Jason Winston: Atlanta City Council District 1 (52 percent)

Byron Amos: Atlanta City Council District 3 (51 percent)

Jason Dozier: Atlanta City Council District 4 (62 percent)

Antonio Lewis: Atlanta City Council District 12 (60 percent)

Tamara Jones: Atlanta Board of Education District 7 at-Large (67 percent)

Aretta Baldon: Atlanta Board of Education District 2 (51 percent)