Politics, Show Business, Sports Collide in Atlanta’s Mayoral Election

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TV personality Kandi Burruss-Tucker of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is among the celebrities who have donated money to candidates in the 2017 Atlanta mayoral election. (Moses Robinson/Getty Images)

Atlanta, home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies and the 1996 Summer Olympics, has emerged in recent years as a major entertainment center. Hip-hop artists and professional athletes regularly come to the city to live and play. As a less-costly production alternative to Hollywood, Atlanta also has experienced a boom in its film industry.

So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that political candidates in the 2017 Atlanta mayoral race have benefited from some famous people’s largesse. The city’s proposed 2018 operating budget is more than $2 billion, so there is much money and influence at stake.

The following is a list of some famous donors who have recently contributed to major candidates in the nonpartisan Nov. 7 election:

Kwanza Hall:

  • “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality TV star Kandi Burruss-Tucker donated $2,600 and $1,400 for the general election.
  • Danny Ferry, former Atlanta Hawks general manager, and his wife, Tiffany, each contributed $2,600.
  • Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Kawan Prather donated $500.
  • Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based RedZone Entertainment, which has worked with artists such as Usher, Rihanna and Britney Spears, donated $2,600. His brother Mark Stewart, an artist manager with MES Management, donated $2,600.

Keisha Lance Bottoms:

  • Tyrese Gibson, an actor and R&B singer, made an in-kind gift described in campaign disclosures only as a “venue,” which was valued at $2,600.
  • Alfred Liggins III, CEO and president of Radio One, one of the nation’s largest Black-owned broadcast companies founded by his mother, Cathy Hughes, who also created TV One, donated $1,500.

Ceasar Mitchell:

  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a former Atlanta Hawks basketball player, donated $2,500.

Mary Norwood:

  • The Atlanta Hawks, an NBA team whose principal owner is businessman Tony Ressler, gave $2,000.
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