By Maria Saporta
Thanks, but no thanks (I think).
So says former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin in response to an effort to recruit her to run as chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. The petition drive says: “We believe that SHIRLEY FRANKLIN is by far the best candidate to chair our Party.”
Actually, Franklin said she believes she is too liberal to represent the Democratic Party statewide. She also believes that she has been a controversial figure, especially in her last couple of years as mayor.
“I haven’t changed nor have my political positions,” she wrote in an email.
She went on to say that she is “pro civil union for the LGBT community, pro immigrant focused federal legislation, pro UN leadership on peace, pro tax cuts for the middle class and working Americans not millionaires, pro MARTA and anti state policy that discriminates against MARTA, pro state policy that supports Fulton and DeKalb residents/taxpayers who have sacrificed to build reliable metro Atlanta transit, anti state billion dollar cuts to education, pro state funding of public defenders for the indigent, homeless program and Level 1 trauma care, pro aggressive statewide water planning, and investment in major systems like Atlanta’s, anti loopholes in ethics practice that govern state, pro gun control, o
wners training and anti gun fairs….”
Her positions have not changed, and that’s why Franklin said she was “surprised” by the petition to have her run to be chair of the state Democratic Party.
She then seemed to wonder whether it would be a possibility and said that there are “exceptions to every rule.” Franklin then went on to say that despite her liberal position, she was elected to serve as president of the Georgia Municipal Association, the first mayor of Atlanta to serve in that position.
“So perhaps a liberal Democrat might have some qualities worthy of consideration for this position, but it never dawned (on me as a possibility),” she said. “I guess some Georgia Democrats agree Atlanta mayors just might add value to the party.”
And then she appeared to close the door on a candidacy to chair the Democratic Party.
“According to the rules, the party officers and board will elect the president from those who submit their names,” Franklin wrote. “I haven’t done so.”
By the way, in the email petition behind a Franklin candidacy, it states:
“Shirley Franklin has no requested this ‘draft movement’ but we feel that if a large number of significant Democrats will commit to supporting Shirley, she might consider running for the Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.”
The campaign is urging people to sign the petition before Dec. 10.
Currently, the position of Democratic Party chair is held by Jane Kidd.