2019 Municipal Election Endorsements

The Board of Directors of Georgia Equality is pleased to announce their endorsed candidates in the upcoming 2019 Municipal Elections.
The importance of electing fair-minded candidates in cities and counties around the state cannot be understated. In a time when the state and federal governments provide uncertain paths for nondiscrimination protections bills, we’re continuing to push for those protections at the municipal level. Atlanta, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, and Dunwoody have already passed non-discrimination protections for their citizens, and we at Georgia Equality are working to see that list grow. Municipal elections are so important to our movement and every LGBTQ person and ally should vote this year.

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.

This list of endorsed candidates is:


Mayor: John Ernst

“I’m honored to be endorsed by Georgia Equality. I’m delivering essential & efficient City services at a good taxpayer value while ensuring inclusiveness and equality. I support a new NDO that expands on Brookhaven’s existing non-discriminatory policies, practices and trainings. Let’s build on our successes and continue addressing our challenges to fully realize Brookhaven’s vision as a haven of green spaces nestled inside our urban landscape, a city of thought leaders, and an inclusive community with character.” – Jon Ernst

District 3: Madeleine Simmons

“I have a strong track record of legal and community activism for LGBTQ issues and will continue to fight relentlessly for equality and fairness. Although we are actively advocating for Brookhaven to pass a non-discrimination ordinance, if it is not passed by the time I am elected, it will be the first item on my agenda.  As your Councilwoman, I will always keep my door open and will make certain that our City is investing in projects that will directly benefit our neighborhoods and overall quality of life. I want to keep Brookhaven a great place to live, work and play for ALL families.”   – Madeleine Simmons


City Council: Andrea Cervone

I have been and will continue to be a strong voice for all Clarkston residents who identify as LGBTQ+. Now more than ever, with the eroding of civil liberties within the judicial system and the threat of religious liberty laws, municipalities and elected officials need to step up and exercise local control to protect our communities. That’s why Clarkston passed a sweeping Non-Discrimination Ordinance, creating key civil rights protection for our LGBTQ+ residents and visitors and ensuring justice for all.” -Andrea Cervone


Mayor: Joseph Geierman

“I am a supporter of transparency and inclusion – for all of Doraville’s residents – and look forward to putting that into action as our city’s next mayor. 

My track record on LGBTQ issues speaks for itself: While on council, I was a strong and early supporter of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. I am beyond proud that this ordinance has helped kick off a wave of similar legislation in other cities around Georgia. I also spearheaded Doraville’s participation in the metro Atlanta Pride Parade in 2018 as well as helping organize local Pride events in our city this Summer. These are just a few examples of my commitment to diversity and inclusion of all our city’s residents. 

Doraville is ready for a change, and together we can make it happen!” -Joseph Geierman

City Council District 1: Andy Yeoman

For the past two years, Andy Yeoman has been the Chair of the Doraville Planning and Zoning Commission where he has worked with the city council to modernize the city zoning code and also prohibit specific fraudulent businesses, like conversion therapy, from getting a business license in the City. He has been involved with a Doraville Pride group that has marched in the Atlanta Pride Parade for the last two years and held various community events to promote pride in the City. He is running for the District 1 council seat currently held by the member who cast the sole “No” vote against the Non-Discrimination Ordinance passed in 2018.

East Point

City Council Ward A: Davion Lewis

“Over the last 24 years, Georgia Equality has been relentless in its advocacy for the rights of LGBTQ+ Georgians, and today, Georgia is now a more inclusive and equitable place to live. I am humbled and proud to have the support of Georgia Equality and look forward to working alongside its leaders, members, and allies to continue this important work. This endorsement reflects my lifetime commitment to fighting for the most vulnerable among us. As a councilmember, I will be committed to ensuring that Ward A and the City of East Point is a great place for all our residents to live, work, play, and raise a family, regardless who they love, or how they identify.”  – Davion Lewis

City Council Ward D: Erica Dean

“For over 10 years I have spent fighting on the front lines, for basic human rights, including being able to freely be yourself, and love who you want. As a mother of a gender non conforming child, my fight has grown deeper and more personable. As the next city council member I commit to assuring that any laws, oridances or initaitives are LGBTQ friendly and respects the rights of all families.”  -Erica Dean


Mayor: Van Johnson

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Georgia Equality in my effort to become Savannah’s next Mayor. In addition to being visible and accessible in Savannah’s LGBT community, I led Savannah’s efforts to offer domestic partner benefits and to adopt our anti-discrimination ordinance. If Savannah is going to be all that we can be, we must be inclusive and welcoming to all who live within and visit our beautiful City.”  -Van Johnson

At-Large Post 1: Kesha Gibson-Carter

At-Large Post 2: Tony Center

District 2: Bill Durrence (i)

“While I do not know specifically what my opponent’s position is on LGBTQ discrimination, I think the best reason for your members (and the rest of Savannah’s 2nd District) to support me is because I am the most knowledgeable candidate who can bring the most  thoughtful approach to the decision making process Council members must go through.  I do my homework, read the documentation furnished on Council agenda items, make the time to attend training classes at the Georgia Municipal Association and the National League of Cities on all aspects of city management, operations, and planning, as well as doing a lot of self-study and reading on urban issues.  Because nothing is separate from anything else, I asked to be the Council appointee to the Chatham Area Transit Board and to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, both major transportation planning organizations that also have a direct impact on housing issues.”  -Bill Durrence


District 3: Linda Wilder-Bryan

“’Pride is not an LGBT celebration, it’s a human rights celebration – it’s a celebration of equality – it’s a celebration of inclusion – it’s a celebration of acceptance.’ Abhijit Naska

I believe in inclusion of all people period!”


District 6: Kurtis Purtee

“Being a part of the LGBTQ community, I have struggled by fighting for rights and inclusion. I understand the struggles of our community and I will continue to fight through those struggles. I am a true representative of our diverse community!”  -Kurtis Purtee

Early voting is happening now through November 1, 2019. Election Day is November 5, 2019. For more information and to find out where to vote, please visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.