Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin suffered the tragic loss of her son. Cabral Franklin died after a long battle with cancer. He was 41.
Cabral Franklin was a well-known political strategist in Atlanta who worked behind the scenes on campaigns and issues that affected Atlanta, state and even national campaigns. As a managing partner of Franklin Communications, he blazed a significant trail — even working on the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama, former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, and his mother Shirley Franklin when she ran for mayor as Atlanta’s first Black female mayor. Many have stated he was a key figure in the passage of the Georgia’s TPLOST transportation referendum that was considered by many to be impassable because of the political climate in the state.
It was noted that he achieved his incredible political success on his own merits. “Obviously, being Shirley Franklin’s son had a cachet, but he carried his own weight by leaps and bounds. That was never an issue. He just understood people and politics better than any person I’ve ever known,” said Chris Carpenter, managing partner of Franklin Communications.
His illness was a quietly kept secret among many in Georgia politics, and his death due to an aggressive form of lung cancer shocked many.
Franklin played a critical role in rebranding and reorganization of the Georgia Democratic Party and was called a key leader in the party’s comeback in Georgia politics.
Democratic Party of Georgia executive director Rebecca DeHart said Franklin was “brilliant, kind and calm — even in the most trying of times.”
Many political figures in Georgia expressed that he will be sorely missed in Georgia politics.