A midnight rally on the steps of the state Capitol

In the next few days, many journalists will write that the end of this winter session of the Legislature on Friday will mark the beginning of the next campaign season.

Usually, this is true — as a metaphor.

State Sen. Kasim Reed has decided to make it a fact. At midnight Friday, the moment that the General Assembly’s assignment expires, Reed’s campaign for mayor of Atlanta has arranged a rally on the steps of the state Capitol — only a block away from City Hall.

The 2009 mayoral field is far from settled. City Councilwoman Mary Norwood is in. City Council President Lisa Borders apparently is mulling a return to the contest. City Councilman Ceasar Mitchell is in the running, but could drop down to the council president’s race, we’re told, if Borders jumps into the mayor’s contest.

My AJC colleague Eric Stirgus reports that yet another mayoral candidate, Glenn Thomas, channeled his inner Barack Obama today during his campaign kick-off at City Hall.

“If change can come to our nation, then change can come to Atlanta,” the 31-year-old Thomas told about 30 supporters.

Thomas took a jab at outgoing Mayor Shirley Franklin, who had used this slogan: “If you make me mayor, I’ll make you proud.”

“Are you proud?” Thomas asked.

“We’re not proud,” the crowd chanted, raising red and blue pom-poms in the chilly air.

Thomas, a former budget manager for the city’s police department, said he disagreed with the mayor’s decision to furlough police officers and firefighters to help fill a budget gap. Thomas said he’d cut waste instead.

Asked for specifics, Thomas said, “We probably spend too much money on commodities and services we shouldn’t spend money on.”

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10 comments Add your comment

MaxieGrrrl

March 31st, 2009
3:32 pm

For a minor candidate with absolutely no shot at winning the mayor’s race or even breaking the top four, you guys sure spend an awful lot of time covering Glenn Thomas. Pray tell, what’s in heaven’s name has this guy done to warrant any attention at all? The next thing you know the AJC editorial board will be endorsing him.

Glenn Thomas

March 31st, 2009
7:03 pm

MaxieGrrrl (and anyone else)I hear your comments and I would like to ask you to please follow my campaign as well as any others. I want, like many other Atlantans, better government that serves the people of our city. I am actually the most experienced candidate in this race; I have managed multi-million dollar budgets with success for over five years and have headed up operations for county, city and non-profit organizations for more than ten. I bring experience, humility, integrity and a will to work — to the city of Atlanta. Please support me. Thanks.

MaxieGrrrl .

March 31st, 2009
7:37 pm

I apologize for what I said, even though I am supporting MOHAMED KASIM REED for mayor of Atlanta I want everyone to know that most of the light skinned African American unlike me have a big problem with supporting a dark skinned candidate. Look at all the people we have supported before that are light skinned Shirley Franklin, Bill Campbell, Andrew Young and Maynard Jackson.
Now I know what you’re thinking Andrew Young is supporting MOHAMED KASIM REED and why doesn’t MOHAMED KASIM REED use he real name? Well because our polls show that white Atlantans aren’t not comfortable with Kasim’s first name, his given name “MOHAMED” and that’s why MOHAMEN doesn’t use it.
That’s why during our campaign the people we hired from Texas from David Axelrod’s firm have suggested that we lighten MOHAMED KASIM REED PICTURES UP ON THE BILLBOARD YOU SEE AROUND TOWN.
NOW YOU KNOW MOHAMED KASIM REED ISN’T THAT LIGHT, SO WE WILL RUN WITH IT.

MaxieGrrrl

March 31st, 2009
8:06 pm

@7:37 Sorry folks, just another rabid racist impersonating me. And Glenn, stop hogging the pipe.

NickNick

March 31st, 2009
8:31 pm

Nobody is going to put a 31 year old neophyte in charge of the city. Thomas dropped his humility off at the coat check the minute he thought he could run for mayor. If you’re as skilled as you say you are, then you’re doing us all a disservice by wasting them in this race. I’m sure you mean well. Hell, you’re probably a nice guy… just not the next mayor of Atlanta.

Devin Barrington

April 1st, 2009
7:56 am

So my next question to the people who have so much doubt about Glenn Thomas, is what makes the other candidates in the race so much more qualified than Mr. Thomas? None of these people have managed city finances or understand the inner workings of city government.

You have candidates who have lots of ideas but none of them have ever cracked the surface on beginning to understand how to manage a city. Why would we elect people who may have their own ethics come into question? Why would we elect people who many know how to run a campaign but have no idea what to do when it comes to running a city. Why would we elect those people when we have a candidate who understand the city’s finances and how to get police officers back on the street. Glenn Thomas is finally the person in the mayor’s race who has no other ambition or goal in mind other than truly providing Atlanta with the best public service possible.

None of the other candidates in the race have made any sacrifices to make this leap to public office. I thought that public service truly involved making a sacrifice, making the tough decision to place the greater good above yourself. Putting other people before yourself. That is what public service is about and I believe that Glenn Thomas is the only candidate in the race who truly values the doctrine of public service, which is ones ability to place community over self, and making the sacrifices needed to lead.

I hope that in this day and age that we look to the out of the box candidate, that we take a serious look at all the people who offer a real solution to the problems that challenge our city. Lets be smart about our decision on the next mayor and give everyone including Glenn a fair and fighting chance. For any person like Glenn who makes the sacrifice to lead our glorious city should gain our support but if nothing more our respect.

Glenn Thomas

April 1st, 2009
11:35 am

In response: first, thank you Devin for your outlook and words about public service and experience. Second, to all that know me, they know I say what I mean and I don’t have to disguise myself. That being said, I look forward to a great debate on Thursday, April 2, 2009 @ 201 Courtland with a few of the mayoral candidates. Please come out to see what the future of Atlanta looks like. Thank you!

Glenn Thomas

April 1st, 2009
11:46 am

And let me be clear, I don’t support the use of any stereotype or racist implication thereof…we must stay above the fold. Public service should not be used as a place of hate or anger. We must re-build our city collectively with passion, humanity, service and true will.

Adora Andy

April 1st, 2009
3:37 pm

I took time to draft Mohamed Kasim Reed’s letter

Dear Friends:

It is with deep regret that I come before you today to withdraw my candidacy for Mayor of the City of Atlanta. I have thought long and hard about this and have decided that the best course of action rather than putting myself through the accusations of rape and the fact that I and Charles Best cheating several young men from Bankhead courts out of campaign field money I would rather just dropout of the race today!

State Sen. Mohamed Kasim Reed

Adora Andy

April 2nd, 2009
6:39 pm

What you MOHAMED KASIM REED supporters have nothing to say! I guess Lisa Borders has stole you thunder for tonight’s show case.