Shirley Franklin: Atlanta race for mayor about character, ‘not race’

Atlanta mayoral candidates Mary Norwood (right) and Keisha Lance Bottoms at the Atlanta Press Club debate last week. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

On the final weekend before the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, the time has come to pay less attention to the polls and scrutinize the meaning contained within final moves being made by Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.

Bottoms has a 9 a.m. Sunday GOTV event with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at her campaign headquarters at 2358 Cascade Road SW – a little something before church.

Then comes U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Cal., at 5 p.m. at the Park Tavern at Piedmont Park.

Both locations are defensive. The first is in southwest Atlanta, where Bottoms is strong — she represents the area — and will need muscular turnout on Tuesday. The second is in Midtown, which has become the fulcrum of Atlanta politics. Lose here and you might as well go home.

As the weekend broke, WSB-TV brought out a poll that showed Norwood leading and Democrats split between the two candidates. A radio ad launched by the Norwood campaign this weekend, featuring former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, appears to be intended to keep that schism alive. We’re told it’s getting extensive air time on black radio. Listen here:

A partial transcript of Franklin’s remarks:

“I’ve endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor. Some people say that endorsement may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman. This election is about character, transparency, and integrity. Not race.

“I’ve worked for mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young, supported Gov. Roy Barnes, and have always fought for civil rights. I am proud to stand with Ceasar Mitchell, Cathy Woolard, John Eaves, Peter Aman, the policemen, the firefighters, and city workers – all who endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor.

“We can’t stand by and do nothing about the corruption and pay-to-play politics at City Hall. We must stand together….”

Reader Comments 6

53 comments
jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

For those of you who are undecided.....read the comments from those supporting Norwood. 

bobster1
bobster1

Think racism is not alive in downtown Atlanta? How many WHITE  people do you see working at City Hall, MARTA, the airport, Philips Arena, Fulton County Govt, Morehouse University, etc. etc. etc. ???

Corey
Corey

@bobster1  How many white people you personally know that have applied? Believe me, the highly skilled positions are filled by white applicants. MARTA not only employs bus drivers and train operators. They also employ IT folk, engineers, diesel mechanics, heavy rail car maintenance specialists, accountants, electronic technicians, electrical specialist, and industrial electricians, people with advanced degrees in business etc. The airport does not hire the people you see cleaning and working in food service. Those jobs are outsourced and those workers barely make more than minimum wages. The people behind the scenes doing the highly skilled jobs are white. Morehouse College has white faculty members. Attend a graduation at Morehouse and notice whites among the faculty.

Smilesterr
Smilesterr

When will democrats in Atlanta ever decide to try and compromise with the moderate republicans in the the city to end the race politics JUST 1 TIME?  Whenever this does happen, the city will begin to pull itself together again.  Racial politics are why we are in this horrible place in the rest of the USA.  Sooner or later, common sense has to rise to the surface and a new political party HAS to be developed that is a true meeting in the middle of both repub and dem ideology. 

Goldie Hernandez
Goldie Hernandez

@Smilesterr >compromise with the moderate republicans

How about compromise with the moderate Democrats in this city?

There are times when Atlanta might as well be San Francisco or Seattle in municipal government.

Corey
Corey

@Smilesterr  They have always cooperated behind the scenes. How do you think investment in the city continues. Think Olympics etc. Conventions and big events. This cooperation goes back to Mayor Hartsfield when the names of Holmes, Dobbs and others of the Sweet Auburn black business establishment worked behind the scenes with a white city government to help keep the lid on during turbulent times. 

Goldie Hernandez
Goldie Hernandez

Rather surprising that Bottoms is not getting many endorsements outside of Reed.  Franklin, Caesar Mitchell, Cathy Woolard, what do these folks know about Bottoms that we don't?  I have not met Bottoms, but these people have and I take their word that she would be the wrong mayor.  I supported Woolard in the general, I now plan to vote Norwood.

By the way, these folks keep bringing out folks who have no clue about Atlanta Cory Booker and Sen. Harris, spare me they do not know what goes on in day to day Atlanta.  These type of appearances show me Bottoms lacks any real thought of her own to run on and is just going for "Hey I'm a black Democratic woman, vote for me"..no thanks.

Nipsey Hustle
Nipsey Hustle

@Goldie Hernandez Peter Aman has already accepted a job with Mary Norwood in exchange for his endorsement. Cathy Woolard and Ceasar Mitchell are probably going to get contracts or assistance in retiring their campaign debt and Shirley Frankin is going to get her hands on the APS deeds. Here is the next corruption scandal unfolding right in our faces. Make no mistake all of them are going to benefit financially from their endorsements which I find to be very hypocritical for someone running on the platform of honesty and transparency.

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

Character....?...

Both have character. Question is...,which one can best deal with the CHARACTERS.....they will be forced to deal with.

Deal will not be around..,,the next governor of Ga will probably be an Evangelical..,

So ... which one can and will stoop to their level....and CHECK THEM ?

someonesdad
someonesdad

Everything is about race to Franklin, Bottoms, Reed, Lewis, at al. Always has been. Time to remove the Brother network.

The TAIKI
The TAIKI

Yes it is, that's they keep trying to tie her to Trump

Hoo Mee?
Hoo Mee?

Will Mayor Norwood fund R&D for the late great Dr. Gary R. Davis and his BB:7075?


I hope so, if Sharkeisha Lances Bottoms gets in, it's be the same old black mafia bs...

NeboSuki1
NeboSuki1

The Ga. Democratic Party has run a nasty race baiting campaign designed to defame Mary Norwood.  Vote for Mary Norwood and let the your vote be heard LOUD and CLEAR that scurrilous campaign tactics are NOT acceptable! 

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@NeboSuki1  Norwood can be called a redneck honkey by the Democrats,  just don't call her a Republican because we know not a single Black in Atlanta would ever vote for a Republican ( you say they already called her a Republican ? ) 

booger hux4952
booger hux4952

Character?

When it involves the Mayor of Atlanta?

not since pre Maynard Jackson can that be said....

CANweTALK
CANweTALK

I totally respect your decision Ms. Franklin.   However I must say I think a mistake has been made by you.   Deep down I got this gut feeling that Mrs. Norwood is a Republican posing as an Independent.

True our current mayor has been "questionable" to say the least.   But I feel that Mrs, Bottoms will be best for the city, for ALL OF THE CITY.   

Just my opinion.    

booger hux4952
booger hux4952

@CANweTALK 

Bottoms?

'best for city?

oh, you want more corrupt 'Kaseeeeem' b-s...

That's been the problem, fool.

someonesdad
someonesdad

I hope she's a Republican. That's what we need.

JK1951
JK1951

Thank you Mrs. Franklin.

butchcat
butchcat

Attention Amazon, ' The city too busy to hate' always has the most racially divided elections.  

Dazed
Dazed

Interesting how the Democrats are playing the race card yet again. So sad that all te black racist are now hurt as they re finding out that promotion of yet another racist is not endorsed by all the other Democrats that support unrelenting racism. Mr Franklin I applaud you and you are showing true character that is getting so hard to find in Atlanta. It was clear in the town halls that black racism was very popular when whites were attracted for the color of their skin and not the content of their character.

Emory Coleman
Emory Coleman

Mr. Franklin (my former mayor), as you put it, is a woman... so this tells me you know nothing about Atlanta politics and are ONLY commenting because this post IS ABOUT RACE... THAT'S why we are fighting so hard for K.L.Bottoms because others like yourself only see race and do not understand the struggle the black community has fought to keep a toe in the economic community that is Atlanta.

booger hux4952
booger hux4952

@Emory Coleman 

What a fool you are, kind sir.

keep a toe in wasteful spending?

yeah, thats correct.

Too much money by those blacks in control...

Can't happen, sorry.

Jason Starbuck
Jason Starbuck

@Emory Coleman The bigger issue at stake is the state of the current administration and the fact that Ms. Bottoms is basically a continuation of Reed and his policies.  Between the corruption, airport scandal and every other shady deal that has been brokered downtown it is time for a change.  This being Atlanta race will always be a factor, as much as most of us here want that to change. 

Atlantarama
Atlantarama

Emory Coleman, it seems to me that by bringing up “the black community,” you’re making it about race, yourself.

Shar1
Shar1

@Emory Coleman  So clearly the only reason you can come up with to support Bottoms is her race.  Who exactly is the racist commentor here?  

I hope that Norwood is elected.  Reed has been a terrible mayor and has gone all out for Bottoms in his bullying, lying, corrupt way.  He wants Bottoms because he knows the slime that is coming out of the City Hall corruption scandal is oozing right to his door and he needs someone who will cover and obstruct on his behalf.  Bottoms will, Norwood won't.


Norwood has proven to be an effective representative of all sides of Atlanta.  Bottoms has no accomplishments whatsoever, and is running a racist campaign on top of her general incompetence.  Apparently it worked with you.  I hope that most voters are less racist and more rational than you are.


MugofJoe
MugofJoe

The majority of her primary opponents, key Atlanta leaders like Shirley Franklin, and the backbone of the City, our policemen, firemen and city workers, support Mary Norwood for ATLANTA'S next Mayor.

Who supports Bottoms? A nasty tyrant of a Mayor who has procurement fraud under his watch and a bunch of people who DO NOT LIVE IN ATLANTA. What's weak her is Keisha. She is on the bottom of Atlanta.

Atlanta is a great city. We deserve to elect our Mayor. Mayor Mary Norwood. Atlanta, let's get the job done in OUR community.

bobjlv
bobjlv

So very sad that a black man is basically apologizing to blacks for supporting a whilte candidate. Even more sad is Atlanta seems to have this "thing" about a mayor that has to be black. Sadly this race will end up with votes mostly along racial lines. So sad! Usual politics. Atlanta will not go to hell in a handbasket with a white mayor!

jpfromtheA
jpfromtheA

You act like that’s new to GA politics. Have you seen many black senators or governors coming out of GA?

Emory Coleman
Emory Coleman

So your not from Atlanta, Mayor Franklin is a woman...so you have even less of a clue about our social political and economic climate in OUR city and what we are fighting for...

Shar1
Shar1

@Emory Coleman If the "we" you reference is the citizens of Atlanta, we're "fighting" for economic opportunity, cleaner government, better use of tax funds, better schools, public transit, improved infrastructure and many other things that benefit the entire City of Atlanta, OUR city - for all citizens.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Not about race? HaHaHaHaHaHaHa  Everything in Atlanta politics is about race, ever see a all white owned company EVER get a City contract at the Airport  LOL

jpfromtheA
jpfromtheA

So the rest of GA politics is immune to race? Ha!!

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@jpfromtheA  No but Atlanta is the biggest hypocrite of all when it comes to talking about race relations 

Emory Coleman
Emory Coleman

Out off all the growth and money never touches minority contacts in midtown, buckhead, Emory, ga tech. Cobb, Gwinnett... your mad because some minority contractors get a fair share and then some...for once

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@Emory Coleman  Only CONNECTED minority contractors, and those willing to pay kick backs. Atlanta Government has been about corruption for years not equality. The Maynard Jackson Family got rich selling bonds to the City after he left office and to this day keeps their " under privileged minority status " when bidding on Airport contracts. If you want Atlanta business, you got to " pay to play "

drrod4u
drrod4u

78% of the airport contractors are to whites. Folks won't be happy until this percentage is 100.

Another comment
Another comment

Mary Norwood is the best candidate by far! Thanks Shirley for stating the facts. Hopefully Atlanta will follow the lead of New Orleans and elect the best candidate regardless of race!

A guy walks into a bar
A guy walks into a bar

Shirley you must be joking. Keisha Lance Bottoms MADE it about race when she sent out the robocall calling to "Keep Atlanta Black".


The HELL it isn't about race. Tell it to the black woman in the runoff.

Sundi
Sundi

Candidates cannot control everything- she was not responsible for this robocalls. Her biggest mistake was starting out with Kasim. If you wanna claim that you will improve a city, why get support from an outgoing mayor who has some sort of connection to a few corrupt issues in the city?

Trackbacks

  1. […] the endorsement is being run as part of an ad for Norwood, primarily on black radio. Here’s a transcript via the AJC: “I’ve endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor. Some people say that endorsement may hurt my legacy, […]

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  2. […] may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman,” Franklin says in a Norwood ad running on black radio stations. “This election is about character, […]

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  3. […] may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman,” Franklin says in a Norwood ad running on black radio stations. “This election is about character, […]

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  4. […] may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman,” Franklin says in a Norwood ad running on black radio stations. “This election is about character, […]

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  5. […] may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman,” Franklin says in a Norwood ad running on black radio stations. “This election is about character, […]

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  6. […] may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman,” Franklin says in a Norwood ad running on black radio stations. “This election is about character, […]

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