Atlanta, GA — Georgia Independent Voters (GIV), a state-based association representing independent voters, announced today its endorsement of former State Senator Kasim Reed for mayor of the City of Atlanta.
“We’re proud to announce our support for Kasim Reed for Mayor of Atlanta,” said Thyrsa M. Gravely, a long-time independent political organizer and a key player in GIV’s candidate screening process. “Reed has been on the just side of important electoral issues here in Georgia, and in our conversations he indicated a willingness to address our concerns regarding political reform by being a spokesperson at the state and national level.”
“I am very grateful to receive the endorsement of Georgia Independent Voters. A political process that is open to all is a major concern of mine,” said Reed. “Too many voters are disillusioned and kept out of the political process. As Mayor, I will work with the Governor and the state legislature towards opening Georgia’s electoral process, and making it more accessible to all voters.”
GIV’s endorsement came as a result of candidate screening sessions and numerous dialogues over the course of the summer. In July the group met with nine of the hopeful candidates, but elected not to endorse at that time. “We wanted to see how the field would shape up after the filing period closed in early September,” said Murray Dabby, a co-founder of GIV. “We wanted to endorse when we thought we could have the biggest impact.”
Numbers of independents continue to grow, and independents currently form 39% of the electorate according to a recent Pew Research poll. As a result, independents have played an increasingly important role in elections around the country. In the 2008 presidential election, independents tipped the scales for Obama, helping him secure the Democratic Party nomination over Clinton.
“Kasim Reed is a part of a new generation of Democrats, like President Obama, who appreciate independents. Reed is very conversant on issues of concern to us and is clearly the most independent-minded, and most reform-minded candidate in the race,” said Dabby. “Issues of political reform are a mystery to many old-guard, traditional politicians, but things like lowering ballot access barriers, making voter registration easier, and making the redistricting process less political are issues that are important to independents, who are left out of the political process in so many ways.”
Georgia Independent Voters is a grassroots organization working to reform the political process and develop the voice of independent voters around Georgia.