ATLANTA — Voters have decided the next mayor of Atlanta. Andre Dickens will be the city's 61st mayor when he is sworn into office. The Adamsville native sat down with 11Alive to discuss his thoughts on the victory and what comes first when he enters office.
Just hours after the race was called, Dickens said he was excited. The newly-elected leader said it was a dream come true.
“I’m still rolling off that same wave." Dickens said, speaking to 11Alive. "This is a dream come true, and I’m thankful to the Atlanta voters for what they did yesterday. I’m excited to become the mayor of Atlanta.”
Dickens had a lengthy campaign to office, as the mayoral election came down to a runoff following a general election that was too close to call. In Dickens' opinion, his success largely came down to his work ethic.
“Atlanta knew what it wanted. They just didn’t know who they wanted." Dickens said. "As they continued to say they wanted someone that could provide the safety, provide the opportunity, provide the equity, provide the visionary leadership... they kept saying ‘we need a leader.’ That’s why you had so many undecided voters during the Nov. 2 race and then now to this race. Once they heard my plans, heard my history and understood that I’m a unique Atlanta story – one that can go from Adamsville to now being the mayor of the City of Atlanta – they said this is the type of inclusivity that they need. And, they also said that we want someone who can run the city well, but run it well for everyone. And, we kept working.”
“My work ethic is bar none unequivocal." Dickens continued. "My energy, my capacity to knock on more doors, make more phone calls, go to every meeting and also be at every debate stage and perform is based on my love of Atlanta and my preparedness and my energy.”
Moving forward, Dickens said that the plan is to build relationships.
“Priority number one is to make sure that I keep and build on all of the relationships that I have working with the state." Dickens said. "I’m going to talk to the governor today, the speaker of the house, all of the city council members that have won just recently on top of the ones that I’ve already known that won before, as well as the school system. (I will) really put it out there to our police officers and our city staff that I am ready to lead and that I want to work well with them right on day one."
"Relationships are going to be key and I want to nurture them right on through the holiday season.”
Now that the race against Felicia Moore is over, Dickens said that he continues to see his former opponent as a friend.
“Yeah, I definitely see a relationship with Council President Moore." Dickens said. "She’s a friend of mine. I lived in district nine for 16 and a half years, and she was my council person when she was the district rep. So I respect her. I always say this, I draw circles; I don’t draw lines. I’m going to bring everybody in together. I believe that a city that is brought together is going to be more powerful. That includes Felicia Moore. That includes all of the other individuals that ran for mayor at this time. So, I’m going to bring us together. I hope that Council President Moore will be receptive to having conversations going forward, and I think we will. Again, the city needs a unifier. Her voters, her supporters, all that thought that she would become mayor, those individuals now know that I am mayor and that I want to make sure that I retain that relationship.”
Andre Dickens first joined the Atlanta City Council back in 2013.