Race for Atlanta City Council seat heated - KMSP-TV

Race for Atlanta City Council seat heated

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Andre Dickens (left) is running for the seat currently held by H. Lamar Willis (right). Andre Dickens (left) is running for the seat currently held by H. Lamar Willis (right).
ATLANTA -

The mud is slinging in the race for the Atlanta City Council's citywide seat. Some of it is being thrown at former Mayor Shirley Franklin

Andre Dickens is running for the seat currently held by H. Lamar Willis.

The race heated up after Franklin, Atlanta's mayor from 2002 to 2010 and a supporter of Dickens, criticized Wills' law record. The Georgia Supreme Court recently disbarred Willis.

"If my actions have caused me to be unfit, then she should have submitted her resignation before leaving office," Willis said.

Willis then mentioned Franklin's former son-in-law, Treymane Graham, who was jailed by federal authorities on drug and money laundering charges.

"When that individual was given bond, he resided in Mayor Franklin's home under the protection that it is provided at taxpayer's expense in her home," Willis said. "And that is the place in which he escaped when he was on the lam for a significant period of time. No one called for her resignation."

Dickens said he thought Willis jumped out of bounds with his comments about the former mayor.

"Well, there's a difference between talking about family issues versus things that are point of record in the courts, whether that is the state Supreme Court that has disbarred him or the attorney general or the secretary of state or the city's ethics officers, I mean, these are things that are written and established against him," Dickens said.

Dickens said he wouldn't comment on the specific things Willis said about Franklin's family.

Franklin declined to be interviewed by FOX 5, but released a statement saying,

"Once again Mr. Willis' behavior is disappointing. His vicious verbal attack on me and my family indicate he is not fit for public office. Based on his comments today, he is a desperate man willing to say and do anything to win an election. If this is an effort to silence my voice, I am reminded of when once upon a time women were to be seen and not heard.

The idea that I attacked him personally is absurd. I have stated the facts about his disbarment for stealing a client's money and his repeated unethical behavior. This isn't my opinion it is fact. As a longtime Atlantan, a woman of integrity and a former mayor I have chosen to support and endorse, Andre Dickens, a candidate who values a strong ethical commitment to good government. I will not apologize for that endorsement, no matter how baseless and dishonest Mr. Willis' attacks. My public service and ethics reform are a matter of public record."

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