Atlantans will find out soon how big the field of candidates is in the cities mayoral race. Nine major candidates and several other hopefuls must take the step of paying a $5,500 qualifying fee this week.
Dr. Harvey Newman, professor emeritus at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, said a candidate must have the ability to survive in such a large field.
"Well it's going to take a combination of hard work, a great ground game and some serious resources,” Newman said.
Money and resources are important, but Newman believes it's going to take a real grassroots effort for anyone to win in such a large field.
"It's going to take a lot of dedicated volunteers who are going to have to knock on doors and have one-on-one conversations,” Newman said.
Clark Atlanta University political science professor Dr. William Boone pointed out the mayoral candidates also face a changing electorate.
"They're a bit younger," Boone said. "They are not as wedded to old Atlanta traditions."
He said the candidates will also face big economic challenges.
“You're going to have to deal with the question in some communities of gentrification. You're going to have deal with the question of income inequality,” he said.
Qualifying is traditionally seen as the start of the fall campaign season.