Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell has officially confirmed long-rumored plans that he will be in the November 2009 race to become the next Atlanta mayor.

Mitchell, the Post 1 at-large representative, announced at a recent meeting of the Atlanta Hotel Council he is running to succeed Mayor Shirley Franklin, whose term ends Dec. 31, 2009.

The second-term councilman said he waited to announce his candidacy so as not to politicize the debate over the city’s budget.

Mitchell is a lawyer with the national firm Epstein Becker & Green and a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and Morehouse College.

He is the vice chairman of the city utilities committee and has served as the chairman of both the public safety and community development/human resource committees.

Mitchell, who is in his seventh year on the council, has long been mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed Franklin.

City Council President Lisa Borders previously announced she is a candidate for mayor in 2009. Other notable Atlantans who have at least expressed interest in running include Councilwoman Mary Norwood, Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts, state Sen. Kasim Reed and radio talk-show host Clark Howard.

Franklin, who is finishing her second term, cannot run for re-election under city charter.