Atlanta voters decided Tuesday that Andre Dickens would become the city’s next leader.
“I am humbled that you have put this faith in me to be the city’s next leader,” Dickens said, speaking to supporters at his watch party late Tuesday evening.
The 47-year-old Dickens painted an optimistic and enthusiastic future for the city of Atlanta in his acceptance speech.
“Like they say, ‘Atlanta influences everything,’ and it’s time we use that influence to make some real change,” Dickens said. “Atlanta needs to show the world that we are leading, that we are leading on public safety, on criminal justice reform, that we are leading on affordable housing and eliminating the inequality that we have.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she wouldn’t seek a second term, creating a wide-open race to succeed her.
Dickens, a City Council member, defeated City Council President Felicia Moore in the mayoral runoff, an upset as Moore had been the frontrunner after earning 41% of the vote in the first round of voting on Nov. 2 across a nonpartisan field of 14 candidates.
“Some people counted me out. Some said I was dreaming way too big. We scrapped, we scraped, we fought to get our message out to the entire city of Atlanta,” Dickens said.
“I’m thankful for my supporters, volunteers, and voters,” Dickens said. “Atlanta voted for progress, transformation, a problem solver, and it starts right now. We can’t wait any longer to address these issues.”
Dickens was elected to the Atlanta city council in 2013 and re-elected in 2017.
During his campaign, Dickens released a four-point plan to tackle surging crime in Atlanta.
Dickens used the acronym S.A.F.E. to describe his four-point plan:
- Surge the police force by 250 officers during my first year in office while training every APD employee in racial sensitivity and de-escalation techniques.
- Arrest gang leaders that are preying on our children and resolve pandemic-related court backlogs to get violent criminals off our streets.
- Force with GBI, FBI, and ATF to address gun trafficking and a task force to hire and deploy specialists to deal with non-violent issues like mental health and homelessness.
- Empower APD to engage in community policing and to support them with new technologies to reduce response times, like smart streetlights, shot-spotters and software connecting APD and Fulton Sheriffs.
Dickens’ term is set to begin on January 3rd. He will serve a four-year term, making him mayor through 2026.