District 1 Atlanta City Councilmember Carla Smith announced via a letter to her constituents on May 5 that she would not seek re-election after 20 years and five terms in office.

“I have mixed emotions about it, but I think the time is now,” Smith said in a brief interview. “I was able to work with the community and we got so much accomplished. I’m proud of that.”

Some of those accomplishments include Livable Center Initiatives (LCIs) around what is now Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium, South Moreland and Lakewood; the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials; Browns Mill Food Forest; and the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

As Smith steps aside, two candidates – Clarence Blalock and Kelly-Jeanne Lee – have already announced their candidacies for District 1.

Here’s a look at how the other council races are shaping up:

In District 3, incumbent Antonio Brown, who is under federal indictment for alleged bank fraud crimes that happened before his election, has a familiar challenger: Patricia “Granny P” Crayton, who lost to Brown in 2019 in the election to fill the late Ivory Lee Young’s seat.

District 4 incumbent Cleta Winslow has challengers to fend off, including Rogelio Arcilia, Larry B. Carter II, Jason Dozier, and Kim Scott.

With Natalyn Archibong running for Council President against Doug Shipman and Courtney English, her District 5 post already has five contenders: Samuel Bacote, Liliana Bakhtiari, Katrina Kissel, Mandy Mahoney, and Douglas Williams.

In District 8, J.P. Matzigkeit is leaving after just one term, but former councilwoman Mary Norwood and political newcomer Nicolas Uppal have announced they will seek to fill his seat.

District 9 incumbent Dustin Hillis will square off against local activist Devin Ward.

Post 1 At-Large incumbent Michael Julian Bond is facing competition from Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, Brandon Goldberg, Todd Gray, and Jereme “JD” Sharpe.

The race to unseat incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also has a number of contenders including current Council President Felicia Moore, attorney Sharon Gay, Socialist Party Workers’ candidate Rachele Fruit, and newcomers Brandon Adkins and Amanda McGee.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.