Today, Stacey Abrams acknowledged that a court-facilitated path to the governor’s office in Georgia is not there. Although not a traditional concession that the race is over, her Republican challenger, Brian Kemp, can now proceed to taking over the governorship without the distraction of court challenges.
What does this mean for the city of Atlanta in the short term? Besides having a ground level view to a smooth and peaceful transition of power intended by the designers of American democracy, I believe not much. The city’s residents are preparing for the holiday season, with Thanksgiving next week and Christmas coming in the next five.
Over the next two years I suspect that residents will take note of predicted changes in the economy, specifically increasing bank rates, inflation, and increasing bond yields on Treasury notes. As the population continues to increase and demand for housing along with it, Atlanta’s lower income class will be the first to feel the financial pressure as homes become less affordable, businesses raise prices, and the gains in labor start to fade.
Although local elected officials will bear the brunt of increasing criticism for the state of the city’s economic affairs, Mr. Kemp, in order to ward off a successful election challenge in 2022, will have to come up with an economic management plan that at least prevents Atlanta from spawning the next challenger.
As for Atlanta city government’s relationship with the Governor and the Georgia General Assembly, I have yet to see whether one exists. If today is any indication, Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Bottoms, had not, at the time of this writing, issued a press release congratulating the governor-elect.
It also does not help that Mrs. Bottoms has aligned herself with the “sanctuary city” movement where local city officials and civic groups have challenged federal immigration laws requiring cooperation with federal agencies in the detention of undocumented foreigners residing in the United States.
Having not spent time herself as a member of the Georgia Assembly, nor, based on her bio, no time in political or non-political positions requiring engagement with the governor’s office or the general assembly, Mrs. Bottoms seems to be falling further behind on the legislative and executive front as a result of not being in a position to foster these relationships.
That said, it is still early in the political game heading into the 2019 legislative session. There may be time to build those relationships.