ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was elected to a second term Tuesday, defeating three little-known challengers as he continues to raise his profile overseeing a key city in the South.
Reed, 44, defeated mediator Al Bartell, financial planner Fraser Duke and consultant Glenn Wrightson in the nonpartisan race, according to preliminary election results. None of the three challengers reported receiving any campaign contributions. Reed reported raising $6 million for his re-election campaign.
“Four years ago, all of you had to stay up late for the election results, but tonight you get to go to sleep early,” he said at a party at a downtown Atlanta hotel. “Our city is united.”
The city is more prosperous and unified than it was four years ago, Reed said. He called being re-elected as mayor the “greatest privilege” and said he plans to work to increase the city’s reputation as a logistics hub, repair roads and help startup companies flourish.
“Today the city of Atlanta has given me the high honor of another four years. I promise to give you everything I got for the next four years with all my heart,” he said.
Reed, a former state lawmaker, is perhaps best known outside the city for his strong support of President Barack Obama and his working relationship with Republican Gov. Nathan Deal on issues including economic development and transportation.
Reed has been a frequent guest on national news shows advocating for the Obama administration and made dozens of campaign appearances on behalf of the president during the 2012 campaign. He’s also been working across party lines to urge the federal government to provide money to deepen the Port of Savannah, which he says is crucial to the economic future of Atlanta, anchor of the 11th biggest metropolitan area in the country.
In making his case to voters, Reed touted reforms to the city’s pension system, efforts to reduce crime and his hiring of additional police officers. Reed has faced criticism over a plan to use public financing to help support a new NFL stadium and efforts to regulate the selling of goods on public streets.
Atlanta resident Timothy White, 26, said he voted for Reed because crime rates have fallen.
“I feel as though he’s doing a real good job, and he’s been consistent and deserves another shot,” White said.
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