Top Atlanta mayoral candidates busy raising dollars, filings show

This story has been updated twice.

By Maria Saporta and Dave Williams

Two Atlanta city councilmembers are leading the race for fundraising to become the next mayor of Atlanta, according to the most recent filing of campaign fundraising.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, the front-runner in the polls in this year’s race for mayor; and City Councilman Kwanza Hall were leading the pack with the most money raised  during the last two months among the candidates.

But Council President Ceasar Mitchell has the most cash on hand for the final seven months of the contest.

Norwood raised about $275,000 in February and March, and her campaign reported that she has more than $530,000 in cash on hand.

Hall raised about $309,000 during the same period, according to Angelo Fuster, a spokesman for Hall. That’s an increase from the $4,000 he had raised at the end of the last filing period.

“Kwanza feels really good about it,” Fuster said.

He added that the $309,000 also represented gifts from about 300 donors. Fuster added that Hall has about $250,000 of cash in hand.

“The significant grassroots support I have from voters in every part of our city is extraordinary and I am extremely grateful,” Norwood said in a statement, which stated that money was raised from every council district in the city. “This new wave of contributions is a compelling indicator that Atlanta citizens want me to bring transparency to City Hall and transportation solutions and prosperity to all Atlantans.”

mayoral candidates

The mayoral candidates at a Park Pride roundtable at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in February. Left to right: Peter Aman, Kwanza Hall, Ceasar Mitchell, Mary Norwood, Michael Sterling, Cathy Woolard, Vincent Fort and Keisha Lance Bottoms. John Eaves had not yet declared his candidacy (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Norwood also disclosed that 90 percent of her contributions came from people living inside the Atlanta city limits.

Mitchell, who entered February as the top fund-raiser in the race to succeed term-limited Mayor Kasim Reed, brought in about $128,000 during the last two months. However, due to his earlier fund-raising activity, Mitchell had more than $1.25 million in his campaign treasury as of March 31.

Cathy Woolard, a former president of the Atlanta City Council, raised just more than $120,000 during the two-month period ending March 31. She also disclosed that she has $336,030 in cash. In all, she has raised nearly $700,000.

“Our campaign exceeded its fund-raising goals again this period, and we’re still in the top tier of fundraising for this election,” Woolard said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the support I’ve received from voters across Atlanta.”

Woolard also said her campaign was “leading a citywide conversation about how we grow our city in an equitable manner, expand our transportation system, provide safe and affordable housing choices for people at all stages of their lives, and restore a strong code of ethics and transparency to our city government.”

Businessman Peter Aman raised more than $110,000 during the last two months, beating the campaign’s internal goal.

Councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms raised more than $81,000 in February and March, building her campaign war chest to nearly $405,000.

State. Sen. Vincent Fort did not report any campaign contributions during the last two months. As a member of the legislature, Fort was prohibited from seeking campaign contributions during the session. However, he listed more than $248,000 in contributions prior to Feb. 1 and more than $155,000 cash on hand.

Michael Sterling, former executive director of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, raised almost $40,000 in February and March, and had more than $110,000 cash on hand.

Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, who only announced in late February that he was running for mayor, said he was able to raise $62,382 in just over a month (Feb. 24 to March 31).

“We feel we can raise by the end of the campaign about $1 million, which we think will bring us to victory,” Eaves said in a telephone call. “We are positioned well to pick up momentum.”


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.

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