Lisa Borders officially back in Mayor’s race

We have a bit of an exclusive here – word comes from a trusted source The AJC reports that Lisa Borders is indeed going to be, um, re-throwing her hat into the ring for Atlanta Mayor.  She’ll be announcing at City Hall at 11am, which will be streamed live at Tondee’s Tavern, but also here.

Maria Saporta reported that Borders would be getting into the race last week, but Borders had not confirmed the report.  Borders got out of the race in August to help take care of her ailing parents.  Her personal situation has changed (she’s gotten help taking care of her folks, essentially), making the race possible for her now.

For those of you who may not follow politics, you can see my previous writings on this subject on my personal blog.  The basic run down of Borders positioning in the race, however:

  • Borders was generally seen as an ally of Mayor Franklin, but Kasim Reed probably will end up being tagged as part of the “Franklin machine” or whatever you care to call it.  He was her campaign manager and a major ally while at the State Senate.
  • Borders has extensive connections with the business community (she is a former VP at Cousins, and is currently president of the Grady Health System Foundation), and I these relations have convinced her to get back into the race.  None of the existing candidates ever had their trust – Borders carries much more gravitas than Mary Norwood, and more business experience than Kasim Reed (or Norwood, for that matter).
  • At one time, Borders was seen as the front runner.  Now? who knows.  She’s behind in fundraising and getting in and out of a race tends to lower a candidate’s stock (see: Ross Perot).  Also, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed have been building their networks and gathering supporters.

I’m told that Borders plans to emphasize her Atlanta roots and personal story (single mother, child in school at Westminster, deep family history in Atlanta’s civil rights and church community, she was recently a victim of home robbery).  I’m also told she will have a “5-year plan” for each department – obviously I’d like to know more but the cynical side of me knows that in politics sometimes it is enough to say you have a plan since not many folks are willing to get into the details.

Will it be enough?  Personally, I’m less interested with a personal story, and more interested with concrete plans for the major issues facing the city.  I want to hear plans for crime and reforming the police department that amount to more than just more police officers, among other things.

8 Comments so far

  1. james hervey (jeherv) on April 2nd, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    your post reminds me of how little i know about this stuff and how much i would like to be.

    hmmmmm, maybe a topic for a future post.

  2. maigh on April 2nd, 2009 @ 7:47 am

    I’m with James. I’m completely out of touch with local politics unless it’s the eye on Shirley and what’s wrong with this city. Looking forward to more posts about the other candidates and their platforms. Excellent scoop, Ben!

  3. maxiegrrrl on April 2nd, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    Sorry, not an exclusive. The AJC went live with the story a little after 5 am this morning online. The story is in the print edition too. Sounds like Borders gave them an interview yesterday and I got an e-mail from her campaign around 2:30 am alluding to the big secret. I like your analysis much better though.

  4. grennis on April 2nd, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    Not really an exclusive since Atlanta Business Chronical had this story published a week ago (March 27!)

  5. bking on April 2nd, 2009 @ 9:05 am

    Absolutely correct – what I was told was an exclusive very much NOT an exclusive. You can imagine how happy I was to open the AJC this morning and see that article, knowing what I wrote here last night set to publish this morning. Reporting sucks, I’m glad I’m not an actual journalist.

  6. maigh on April 2nd, 2009 @ 9:06 am

    @maxigrrrl AJC blew their wad and went live before they were supposed to. ;) Ben also had person to person confirmation of the news, not just a hint in an email which is pretty great in my book.

    @grennis – ABC had no confirmation when they posted a week ago, it was a rumor/guess. Hell, the press conference doesn’t even happen until 11am today so I think ole Ben here has done a great job of accurately stating information and not just typing up hunches or guesses like ABC did.

  7. Will (atl_will) on April 2nd, 2009 @ 10:07 am

    Intriguing. I’m really curious to see what an Atlantan mayoral race looks like. Are we going to see a lot of fear-mongering, promises of rescue and damage control, or a campaign of hope and progress? It’s sort of crazy that being the victim of burglary can be a point in favor in being mayor, but I’ll admit that I find that experience somehow fortifying.

  8. bking on April 2nd, 2009 @ 10:55 am

    @grennis – you will see that I actually linked to the exact same story you did in my post. Maria Saporta is a fantastic reporter who "broke" the story before anyone, and I think it’s clear I wasn’t trying to claim any sort of credit for that.

    There was certainly an amount of miscommunication and misunderstanding by numerous parties regarding this story, including myself. The metblog is not an investigative organization, and isn’t trying to be – we got an early word on a story we thought the readers would be interested in, and were told we’d get a post up a little before everyone else. Obviously that didn’t happen, but hey, this is a culture blog and not the AJC.

    Thank god for that, b/c that shit is too much work, and I don’t get paid for this.

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