It was a moment when eyebrows went up.
At Wednesday’s annual luncheon meeting of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin took the podium as the last time in her current role.
“I want to congratulate you for hanging tough in tough in tough times,” Franklin told the hospitality community.
And when she acknowledged the presence of other elected officials in Hyatt Regency ballroom, she only singled out one person by name, saying: “none more important than the president of City Council, Lisa Borders.”
In response, Borders blew Franklin a kiss.
It has been widely understood, but never publicly stated, that Mayor Franklin is supporting State Senator Kasim Reed’s bid for mayor. Reed was instrumental in both of Franklin’s successful mayoral races.
A couple of weeks ago, Borders, re-entered the mayor’s race. She had been considered the frontrunner before she withdrew from the campaign last August, citing family concerns.
The fact that Franklin gave such a warm shout-out to Borders at Wednesday luncheon was particularly significant because of who was in the room. The ACVB meeting is a high-profile venue with hundreds of business and civic leaders in the room.
Time will tell whether this means Franklin is changing her allegiances or simply trying to be fair to all those seeking to succeed her.