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Lisa Borders receives highest score from Committee for a Better Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

Mayoral candidate Lisa Borders, president of Atlanta’s City Council, received the top rating from the Committee for a Better Atlanta — a score of 95 out of a possible 100.

Former State Sen. Kasim Reed came in second with a score of 93. Mary Norwood, a city councilwoman who is thought to be the frontrunner in the race, received a score of 86; and attorney Jesse Spikes had a score of 81.

The fifth candidate, Peter Brownlowe, only received a score of 30. The sixth candidate, Kyle Keyser, did not participate.

The qualifications of the candidates were graded on vision, experience, ability to implement initiatives, managing government, public safety, economic development, mobility and infrastructure.

The results were announced at a press conference Tuesday morning at the Omni hotel by CBA Chairman Jeff Wansley, vice president of government affairs for Equifax. Wansley made sure to let people know that the committee was not making endorsements in the various races.

Wansley said the city has had a “great eight years” under the leadership of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, and that the committee wants to let voters know which candidates it believes are best qualified to fill her shoes.

“There are a lot of great candidates running for mayor,” Wansley said, adding that 43 of the 51 candidates running for city offices participated in the committees review. That included filling out a lengthy questionnaire and being interviewed in person by committee members.

For City Council President, the two city council representatives vying for that seat — Ceasar Mitchell and Clair Muller — received the identical score of 92.

For the complete analysis, click here for the survey results.

Here are the top scorers in several of the contested city council races:

District 4: Cleta Winslow, incumbent: 87;

District 6: Alex Wan: 90;

District 11: Keisha Bottoms: 86;

District 12: Joyce Sheperd, incumbent: 89;

Post 1 At Large: Michael Julian Bond: 88;

Post 2 At Large: Amir Farokhi and Aaron Watson both received a score of 91; and

Post 3 At Large: H. Lamar Willis, incumbent, received a score of 92.

The Committee for a Better Atlanta, in existence since 1997, is a coalition of more than 30 business and civic advocates. The committee provides voters with the tools to help them make informed choices on the candidates running for office, based on qualifications and their understanding of issues facing the city of Atlanta.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. Griddiron Gene September 29, 2009 1:15 pm

    A score of 30? I don’t know who this Brownlowe fella is, but my dog could probably get a better qualifying score. I’m still trying to decide between the top 3 folks (Borders, Norwood, Reed), but so far, none of them are stepping out enough in front for me to cast my vote to them.Report

  2. Conrad September 29, 2009 2:27 pm

    I had no idea Kasim Reed was so business savvy. Business acumen was supposed to be Lisa Borders’ claim to the mayoral seat.Report

  3. Cindy September 29, 2009 2:29 pm
  4. Bradley September 29, 2009 2:31 pm

    Kasim Reed seems to excel in several different areas. I’ve been impressed with how his campaign has up’d the ante as of late.Report

  5. Atl Native September 29, 2009 2:33 pm

    Just as I thought…Jesse Spikes is out of his league.Report

  6. Simone September 29, 2009 2:41 pm

    I think most people expected Borders to be far above the rest of the candidates when it came to business, since she touts business sense as her number one qualification. Now that Reed is clearly on her level in that respect, she may have to tweak her approach a bit. Fortunately for Reed, no one can touch his record on the issues.Report

  7. Kevin Lynch September 29, 2009 8:09 pm

    @Cindy: The notion that using a part time job on Atlanta’s Council is an effective way to impress anyone in power under the Gold Dome is a sad joke. If anything, a bill in the state Senate that is known to have the support of any elected official from Atlanta is likely to die an untimely death. The private cities bill did so, and deservedly.
    This ethics complaint was dismissed for a reason.Report

  8. BusterBo January 20, 2013 5:49 am

    Friends of Lisa Borders, Inc. leased office space from our firm during her 2009 Atlanta mayorial campaign. After an unsuccessful campaign. Ms. Borders and her team vacated the premises without paying for outstanding lease payments.  We have been unsuccessful in obtaining payment from Ms. Borders and merely ask that she make good on the terms of the lease and pay our firm for the monies that we are owed.Report

  9. Burroughston Broch January 20, 2013 10:04 am

    @ BusterBo
    Have you litigated yet or threatened to litigate? A promised garnishment against her pay at Grady, made in a public place, might do the trick.
    Good luck to you.Report


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