Monday, July 29, 2019

The 'Hipster Mayor' Enters the Democratic Senatorial Primary in Georgia

Ted Terry
You know me. I'm a sucker for new Democratic candidates running improbable races in impossibly sanguine environments.

Ted Terry is not as young as he looks, though he does have the best hair. He's the 36-year-old mayor of Clarkston, Georgia, which touts itself as the most ethnically and racially diverse municipality in Georgia and "the Ellis Island of the South." That won't be a plus in the eyes of several Georgia voters who think multiculturalism is next to satanism, but they weren't ever going to vote for a Democrat anyway.

Ted Terry has announced he's running in the 2020 Democratic senatorial primary in Georgia to take on incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue.

Terry has been mayor of Clarkston since his first election in 2013 as a 30-year-old idealist who was working in the nonprofit sector after doing field organizing for the Democratic National Committee. He's now in his second term. Clarkston is a suburb of Atlanta on its eastern side, smack on the I-285 corridor. As mayor Terry pushed "a strong progressive agenda," including decriminalization of cannabis, a $15 / hour minimum wage for city employees, 100% clean energy by 2050, and participatory budgeting. He's proud that Clarkston is now commonly referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America."

He's also director of the Georgia Sierra Club, which will at least give him a little broader name recognition. He came out of the gate with a professional introductory video -- "Too young. Too soon. Too unrealistic. That's what they said when I ran for mayor of Clarkston. But I didn't listen. And I won."

He's also known as the “hipster mayor,” and not without cause. He appeared in the last episode of Season 2 of the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, in an episode titled “Make Ted Great Again” in which Jonathan Van Ness convinced him to ditch his beard. He has been supportive of the LGBT community, and according to his campaign website, he oversaw Clarkston becoming “the third city in Georgia to pass a sweeping non-discrimination ordinance,” and “signed on to the Amicus Brief on LGBTQ+ Employment Discrimination.”

I'm also a sucker for cops doing the lip-synch challenge, so for a little taste of Clarkston, here's the Clarkston P.D. lip-syncing Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." Mayor Ted appears in the video along with other citizens:

For the record, former Columbus, Ga., Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is already in the race for the Democratic nomination. Yeah, she's more mainstream and was mayor of a bigger city.

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