So many questions about Michael Sterling’s decision to get out the race. He announced on Tuesday he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Caesar Mitchell. Video of announcement.
Sterling was once the protégé of current Mayor Kasim Reed. Reed endorsed his ace, Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms. It is well known that City Council President Caesar Mitchell and Reed did not see eye to eye throughout their tenure together. Was Sterling’s endorsement of Mitchell a slap in the face to Reed or payback for Reeds lack of support?
Sterling in his announcement of suspending his candidacy and endorsement of Mitchell emphasized the corruption in City Hall. He compared the corruption in Atlanta with the Chicago criminal prosecution for Rod Blagojevich. Sterling stated that the Chicago case was only a $500,000.00 bribery issue compared to the more than million-dollar airport corruption scandal.
What does Sterling, former Senior Advisor to Reed really know about this corruption? Why has the corruption issue been Sterling’s campaign focus? Did the issue speak to Sterling’s heart? Once a prosecutor, always a prosecutor.
Sterling was never a front runner in this campaign. He persisted anyway. Identity or issue candidates are not a new concept. There are heartfelt people who jump in a campaign for name recognition or to ring a bell for an issue. In his announcement, Sterling stated he is surprised that more Atlanta voters are not paying attention to the corruption of the candidates. Did Sterling jump into this race solely to ring the bell and bring attention to the corruption issue? Why?
We may never know. What we do know is that the Atlanta race, and the likelihood of people jumping out is a national issue. TvOne’s News One Now was taped at Clark Atlanta University this week. One day before Sterling’s announcement, the host of News One Now, Roland Martin, called for the candidates to “get the hell out.” [Link]. I guess Sterling got the message. The question is, will anyone else?
Election night will be interesting. The run-off, even more interesting!