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Political newcomer Doug Shipman wins Atlanta City Council President seat

Doug Shipman has won the presidential seat on the Atlanta City Council. Now the Arkansas native has come forward with a statement.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council will have a new leader following Tuesday's runoff election. Doug Shipman sat down with 11Alive to discuss the gravity of winning the seat

A  former president and CEO of Woodruff Arts Center, Shipman is a political newcomer. Still, the Arkansas native gained enough traction in the Nov. 2 general election to land 30.8% of the vote, edging out competing city council veteran Natalyn Mosby Archibong by more than two points. It clinched him a spot in Tuesday's runoff election, which he decisively won with 54% of the vote.

Doug Shipman said he's had an incredibly busy campaign.

"There is something to going to people's doors and front porches and talking with them. I knocked on about 5,000 doors all over the city." Shipman told 11Alive. "You get to hear people's hopes and you get to hear their concerns. I think it played a big role last night."

The founding CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Shipman has never run for office before. Now taking the proverbial reigns from longtime Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, Shipman believes that Atlanta citizens are looking for something different.

"So I think that the election showed that folks really want some fresh ideas and some fresh leadership, some innovation and also a way to bring people together." Shipman said.

"We've all heard the challenges and now it will be time to bring all of that knowledge we have from the campaign and put an agenda forward."

Shipman will be facing a number of challenges as Atlanta continues to combat the affordable housing deficit, infrastructure issues, an increase in crime and the continuing pandemic. In addition to Buckhead threatening to leave the city.

"I don't think that a Buckhead city solves the issues that Buckhead has raised." Shipman said. "And, I also think that the issues that Buckhead has raised are the same ones that I've heard all over the city." 

"We are going to be able to solve the issues Buckhead has as an approach to the entire city much better than on its own." The newly elected Atlanta leader continued.

Ultimately, Shipman will be focusing on helping Atlanta citizens reconnect with each other and the Atlanta City Council.

"I think it's really focusing on having people feel like they have access to the city." Shipman said. "I think they really want the city to be responsive. When they call, they want folks to respond to their needs."

"To me, it's about building bridges between neighborhoods and the cities so that folks trust that the city is actually going to deliver," he said.

Shipman will be working with a variety of new and familiar faces on the Atlanta City Council following Tuesday's runoff election.