Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders will leave her job as senior vice president of marketing and communications at Cousins Properties, Inc. in order to spend more time on her campaign to succeed Mayor Shirley Franklin in 2010.

Borders, who declared her candidacy last April, presently is the only confirmed candidate in a race that may end up with the deepest field of seekers for the top city job in 30 years. Some of those expected to be in the race include state Sen. Kasim Reed, who was Franklin’s longtime campaign manager; Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts, who lost to Franklin in 2001; City Council members Mary Norwood and Ceasar Mitchell, former City Council President Cathy Woolard, and consumer talk show host Clark Howard, to name a few.

A lifelong Atlanta resident, Borders, 50, has deep roots in the Atlanta community. Her grandfather, William Holmes Borders Sr., served for 50 years as pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue. Her mother was a prominent civic volunteer and Borders haled integrate Westminster Schools as a student.

Borders has been a close ally in City Council for Mayor Franklin but that is no guarantee of the mayor’s endorsement, since Sen. Reed has been Franklin’s close advisor for many years.