After a special election, a recount and a court case, Antonio Brown beat Byron Amos in a runoff election Tuesday to take the Atlanta City Council District 3 seat.
Even among his supporters, Brown’s win is a surprise.
“Like many people here, I kind of walked on faith,” says Fred Smith, who attended Brown’s victory party at Atlantic Station.
Amos, a former District 2 school board member, is an established politician.
Brown, an entrepreneur and newcomer to politics, says District 3 wanted something different.
“I believe the people of District 3 are tired of the establishment,” he said. “They’re tired of being overlooked. They’re tired of being forgotten.”
Brown, 34, says he’s ready to work on issues affecting Atlantans.
“I definitely want to address the matter of a food desert on the westside of Atlanta. I think we need a grocery store there,” he says, citing one of his priorities. “I want to address, or at least begin having, the conversation around generational wealth. I want to start giving the residents an opportunity to build equity.”
Tangy Daniel also attended Brown’s victory party. She was first acquainted with him through Instagram. Daniel gravitated to Brown’s campaign because of his youth.
“It’s going to be refreshing what he can do with his fresh set of eyes.”
The runoff didn’t have a huge turnout. Out of more than 22,000 registered voters in the district — only about 1,200 residents cast ballots. Brown got approximately 53 percent of votes, while Amos got nearly 47 percent.
The cumbersome race had nine candidates in last month’s special election. None of those candidates got a majority of the vote, forcing the race into a runoff. Third-place finisher Greg Clay requested a recount. He was just three votes behind Brown.
Results from the recount remained the same.
Clay contested the election in court arguing that Brown had an unpaid tax lien at the time of qualifying for the race. Brown testified in court that he has since paid the debt. Clay also argued there were voting irregularities in the March special election.
One witness testified that she was turned away from the polls. She was incorrectly told her address was in a different district.
After a three-day trial, the judge ruled there was not strong enough evidence to overturn the election, and the runoff continued as planned.
District 3 includes Atlantic Station, English Avenue and Vine City.
Brown will finish out the term of the late Ivory Lee Young Jr., who died of cancer last November.
Brown says his win marks a change in city politics.
“City Council … it’s a new day,” says Brown. “You’re gonna have to work with me. We’re going to have to work together.”