At least one of the major candidates in the race to succeed Mayor Kasim Reed signaled support for possible limits on political donations from city vendors.
City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, responding to a question Sunday during a WSB-TV debate, said she would support restrictions on campaign donations from current or would-be city vendors to mayoral candidates if limits were proposed.
Vendor donations to the candidates have emerged as an issue amid the ongoing federal bribery investigation of Atlanta City Hall. In recent weeks, City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms returned more than $25,000 in donations from people tied to the PRAD Group, a Sandy Springs-based firm whose offices were raided by the FBI last month.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported over the weekend that despite the bribery investigation, which has led so far to guilty pleas by two contractors and the city’s former top purchasing officer, many of the major candidates have leaned heavily on the ranks of city vendors and other businesses to fund their campaigns.
In response to a question by AJC political reporter Greg Bluestein, Norwood said, “most of my contributions have been from people I know personally; voters in Atlanta. I would support [new restrictions.]”
The question came at the end of the 90-minute forum. It was directed to Norwood and no other candidate addressed the issue from the stage.
The subscriber website, MyAJC.com, has more on how big business and city vendors are fueling the race for mayor.
For in-depth coverage of Sunday’s debate, click here.
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