“I want to finish being mayor, and then I’ve some other plans,” he said in response to a reporter at the Atlanta Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon who asked if he wanted to run for a statewide office.
Considering his efforts with fellow Democrats in Washington in search of federal funds to deepen the Savannah River, he already has support beyond metro Atlanta. The Port of Savannah is the state’s second-largest economic engine, responsible for nearly 300,000 jobs across Georgia.
At the event was Steve Green of Savannah, who will become the chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce next week. In the middle of Reed’s question-answer session, he stood to praise the mayor.
“The entire state has a debt of gratitude,” said Green, the former chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority.
Reed explained that he supported the deepening because “great cities have great ports.” He’s made repeated lobbying trips to Washington as well as talking the project up in speeches all over Atlanta.
Recently, he began pushing for a high-speed train connecting Atlanta and Savannah.
The mayor, who is up for re-election this year, was asked if a black Democrat could win election statewide considering every statewide post is held by a white, Republican man. He noted that former Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond and former Attorney General Thurbert Baker had each been elected more than once as black Democrats.
Reed refused to be pinned down about his own plans, but he didn’t say it was hopeless.
“I think that Georgia is on an irreversible path to a Democratic majority,” he said.