Election Center

Endorsed Candidates

The Board of Directors of Georgia Equality is pleased to endorse the following candidates for the upcoming November 7, 2017 elections.  

In a period in which many people seeking elected office are supportive of the LGBT community, the Georgia Equality Board of Directors will issue an endorsement for a candidate who we feel is best placed to advance our policy agenda. The lack of an endorsement should not necessarily be viewed as a negative reflection of a particular candidate’s views on LGBT issues in general. In some instances the board did not make an endorsement if there were multiple candidates with evenly matched views on LGBT issues or in races where an incumbent was running unopposed.

Additional endorsements will be issued before the start of early voting. 

City of Atlanta

Mayor: Cathy Woolard

“I have been advocating for our LGBT rights
since the 1980s,” said Cathy Woolard. “I’m not someone who just shows up when it’s easy or to take a pretty picture. As a lesbian, the fight for fairness and equality is personal, and I will continue to advocate for the rights of every marginalized person. As mayor, I will use my position to push for full civil rights at the state, regional, and national level.”

                            -Cathy Woolard

For donation and volunteer information, please visit Cathy’s website, cathyforatlanta.com

City Council President: Alex Wan

“I am grateful for this nod from Georgia
Equality, and especially appreciative that they recognize me not just as a gay candidate, but for my ongoing commitment to the community, and a willingness to take this next step, serving the City I love in a much broader role. I do believe I have earned the vote not only of LGBT Atlanta residents, but of all of the diverse stakeholders of our City. I will continue to bring people together, working through a lens of transparency and sustainability, as a strong, vocal, and positive advocate.”

                           -Alex Wan

For donation and volunteer information please visit Alex’s website, alexwanforatlanta.com

City Council Post 1 At-Large: Courtney English

“I am working to build and Atlanta that works of all of our neighbors. No matter their race, socio-economic status, religion or who they love, all must share in the opportunities Atlanta has to offer. We must create a city that cherishes diversity and where all are welcome and able to build brighter futures for themselves and their families. I have a strong track record of success on the school board, I have stood against hate, and homophobia and have worked to make APS and inclusive organizations for all. This is the same kind of effective leadership I will bring to the City Council when elected.”

                -Courtney English

For donation and volunteer information please visit Courtney’s website, www.courtneyenglish.com

City Council Post 2 At-Large: Matt Westmoreland

“I was born and raised in Atlanta. I’m a proud graduate of and former teacher in our public schools. Over the last four years, I’ve worked to turn around our school system. And I’m running now to build an equitable, diverse and inclusive Atlanta for all who call this incredible city home. That starts with building a fair and safe city that values our lesbians gays, bisexual and transgender residents– and with elected officials who speak up for them against against hate. I have a clear record of doing exactly that.”

                           -Matt Westmoreland

For donation and volunteer information please visit Matt’s website, www.mattwestmoreland.com

City Council District 1: Carla Smith (I)

“Our diversity makes us strong, as a country and as a community, right here in District 1.  All public service is an honor, but I am especially honored to serve the mosaic that makes up southeast intown Atlanta.  As diverse as we are, I learn something new from my neighbors and constituents every day.”

                      -Carla Smith

For donation and volunteer information please visit Carla’s website, www.carlasmith2017.com

City Council District 2: Amir Farokhi

“As we work for an Atlanta that welcomes and empowers everyone, to have the support of Georgia Equality is among the most important endorsements I can receive. Atlanta has many leading hallmarks of inclusion yet we have work to do here and across Georgia to eradicate housing discrimination, strengthen police training, fight RFRA-style legislation, and enact a comprehensive civil rights bill. Moreover, alongside ensuring equality and equity, we have big issues to tackle together for Atlanta’s livability and competitiveness: broken sidewalks, inadequate transit, persistent crime, and dwindling affordable housing. I’m honored to stand with Georgia Equality as we strive to make Atlanta the City we all know she can be.”

                       -Amir Farokhi

For donation and volunteer information please visit Amir’s website: www.amirforatlanta.com 

City Council District 5: Liliana Bakhtiari

“LGBTQ Atlantans should support me because I am one of them. I have faced so many of the issues directly affecting our LGBTQ community. I have been the homeless queer youth, I have fought for trans rights and marriage equality, and I have advocated for more LGBTQ representation. If elected, I would be the first Queer identifying Councilperson, and I think Atlanta is overdue for more diversity in representation.”

                      -Liliana Bakhtiari

For donation and volunteer information please visit Liliana’s website: www.lilianaforatlanta.com

City Council District 6: Kirk Rich

“It is with great appreciation that I accept the endorsement of Georgia Equality for my candidacy for Atlanta City Council, District 6.  We stand together on the issues of equity and representation of all interests in our district, and see that this election holds great opportunity for the future of the City of Atlanta.  This endorsement reinforces my unique background, which makes me the most qualified candidate to represent the 6th district.  I have a vision for the future of the city and how we can all work together; school board, county government, the mayor and the city council to make Atlanta an even more amazing city.”

                      -Kirk Rich

For donation and volunteer information please visit Kirk’s website: www.kirkforatlanta.com

City Council District 7: Howard Shook (I)

additional information available soon

City Council District 8: Anna Tillman

“My brother was five years older than me and,  from an early age, I witnessed terrible discrimination against him because he was gay; he would get beaten up by bullies and it made me cry for him. This life experience engrained in me the horrors of hate for the sake of hate. I always strive to treat all people the way I want to be treated, with respect. I will be a champion for all Atlantans, we should live up to the well known statement, “Atlanta is known to be the city too busy to hate”. I strongly feel that everyone should be allowed the freedom to be who they want to be. It is simply a matter of basic respect for others.”

                   – Anna Tillman

For donation and volunteer information please visit Anna’s website: annatillman.com

City Council District 10: Andrea Boone

additional information available soon

City Council District 12: Joyce Sheperd (I)

additional information available soon

Atlanta School Board

District 1: Leslie Grant (I)

additional information available soon

District 2: Tony Burks

“I’m asking Georgia Equality members to support my candidacy for the Atlanta Board of Education because in my experiences as a career educator, I’ve worked to fairly and consistently address the concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. I haven’t just talked about equality and equity as an educator, I’ve walked the talk. I’ve done most of this work without fanfare and recognition. Mostly, it’s been through creating and sustaining safe spaces for students to grow and thrive.”

                      -Tony Burks


For donation and volunteer information please visit Tony’s website: www.DrTonyBurks.org

District 6: Eshe’ Collins (I)

additional information available soon

District 7: Kandis Wood Jackson

Georgia Equality members should support my campaign for the School Board because I am ready to fight for all of Atlanta’s students, including our students in the LGBTQIA community and their allies. 

                      -Kandis Wood Jackson





For donation and volunteer information please visit Kandis’ website: www.kandiswoodjackson.com

City of Clarkston

Mayor: Ted Terry (I)

“Clarkston is on the forefront of cities creating a welcoming, inclusive and open community that respects all of our residents. As Mayor, over the next 4 years, I will push to have our council adopt a city-wide “non-discrimination ordinance” ensuring that no one can be denied service, or discriminated against because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Our community works best when all of our people are included in an equitable and just environment.”

                      -Ted Terry

For donation and volunteer information please visit Ted’s website: www.tedformayor.com

City Council: Laura Hopkins

“It is my goal to make sure Clarkston grows in beauty, safety, affordability, and friendliness – welcoming all, protecting all, and giving space for everyone to be their truest and best self without fear. We will stand together in diversity of every kind. That is the core of community and community is the core of home.”

                       -Laura Hopkins




For donation and volunteer information please visit Laura’s website: https://www.facebook.com/LauraForClarkston/

City of Doraville

City Council District 2: Joseph Geierman

“This endorsement means a tremendous amount to me. As a gay man, I understand that my campaign would be on much shakier ground if not for the hard work that Georgia Equality, along many other LGBT activists and activist groups, has been doing for decades. I appreciate being recognized by them as the candidate in this race who would do the most to ensure fair treatment for all people. I will work hard to prove that trust well-founded when I’m on Doraville city council.”

                       -Joseph Geierman

For donation and volunteer information please visit Joseph’s website: www.joseph4doraville.com

City Council District 3: Stephe Koontz

“Now is the time for all of us who care about equality in our communities to step up and get involved in whatever way feels right. As a transgender woman, I know what discrimination looks like, and I will fight against all forms of it.”

                      -Stephe Koontz




For donation and volunteer information please visit Stephe’s website: stephekoontz.com 


denotes an openly LGBTQ candidate