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With long history in Atlanta, Andre Dickens wins mayoral race

Multiple factors drove the councilman to win the runoff election.

ATLANTA — Andre Dickens’ margin of victory surprised a lot of people – but not some of his biggest supporters. They said Dickens has been engaging voters below the radar for his entire life. 

Dickens grew up in Atlanta, went to high school and college in Atlanta and most importantly has been in front of voters city wide the last three elections – including the one he won overwhelmingly Tuesday night.

As an at-large city councilman, Dickens had a city-wide constituency in the town that raised him. Sen. Nan Orrock, who endorsed Dickens referred to it as "a vast network across the city."

Orrock added that she saw Dickens rekindle those connections for weeks, with people who "had a history with his family, had gone to church together, had been in the same neighborhood, had been friends with his mom, who was a 30-year union member with CWA (Communications Workers of America).

Dickens was the candidate who pushed former Mayor Kasim Reed out of the running. Reed's absence gave voters a reason to re-examine Dickens and city council president Felicia Moore.

"It was almost like people sobered up after the first emotional round and said, 'who do we have left?'" said City Councilman Michael Julian Bond Tuesday night. Bond said Dickens’ citywide presence paid off for him in the runoff.

"Elective office is about delivering for your constituents. Andre has that record. He is responsive to constituents and Felicia isn’t," Bond added.

Meanwhile, Orrock said Dickens gave voters a "new face" with experience and deep roots. He's "very high energy and always upbeat," she added. "And that’s what we need -- a problem solver who’s upbeat, who brings Atlanta together and moves us forward."