ATLANTA -- The election is more than a year away, but a picture is emerging of who may succeed Mayor Kasim Reed. And based on fundraising, city council president Ceasar Mitchell has to be considered a frontrunner.
Reed can’t run for a third term. Some of his potential successors have reported raising more than a million dollars combined – some, just weeks after launching their campaigns. Mitchell accounts for a majority of that.
Mitchell's campaign reported raising $567,947 since he announced his candidacy earlier this year. $46,600 of it is can't be spent unless he's forced into a runoff in the nonpartisan general election in November 2017.
The candidate closest to Mitchell in fundraising is a man you’ve probably never heard of. His name is Peter Aman, who worked for Mayor Reed and former mayor Shirley Franklin.
Aman – who has never run for office before – raised $243,916 for the general election – and another $42,200 for a potential runoff.
Others are showing they’re serious about winning next year’s mayoral race.
Former City Council president Cathy Woolard was the first major candidate to announce for mayor – filing her notice to run more than a year ago.
"I think we’re all kind of clustered in a pack right now," Woolard told 11Alive News Monday. "We’ll see again how that breaks out" as the race unfolds.
Candidates for mayor and other Atlanta offices were due to file their campaign disclosures by midnight Friday night. The city clerk's office posted the reports Monday.
Since the start of this year, Woolard raised $117,533 in her run for mayor, and shows a balance of $151,734.
Former state representative Margaret Kaiser raised $133,631 this year.
The money may be an equalizer for the otherwise unknown Aman.
"If you are an unknown, you have to raise some money to get your name out there," said Doug Teper, a former member of the Georgia legislature now teaching at Georgia State University. "That does not guarantee you success in the race."
The Atlanta city clerk's office didn't post Mitchell's disclosure until late Monday. The city clerk's office had indicated early Monday it had not received Mitchell's report on time. But the campaign says the online filing got caught in a spam folder.
Other potential candidates, including city council members Kwanza Hall and Keisha Lance Bottoms plus state Sen. Vincent Fort, have not announced their mayoral intentions. City councilwoman Mary Norwood, who ran against Reed in 2009, filed a campaign disclosure report for re-election to the city council. It showed she had raised no money for that race and had no money in her campaign account.
Those wishing to review the disclosures may find them here. Click "view list" and scroll to "city of Atlanta."