Atlanta mayor's race comes down to close call

Aaron Brown
December 7, 2017

Despite the close contest, candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms claimed victory in the mayoral campaign and her opponent, Mary Norwood, said she wants the ballots recounted.

Bottoms led with 26 percent of the vote while Norwood had 21 percent.

The race was close, and only minutes into Wednesday morning, at the same time Bottoms was celebrating her win, Norwood was calling for a closer look at the results.

"The votes are pretty much a mirror of what happened in 2008", said Williams Boone, a professor of political science at Clark Atlanta University.

An analysis of the Fulton County portion of the city of Atlanta shows a north-to-south split of the vote between Bottoms and Norwood voters.

Both women are Atlanta City Council members. Norwood lost to Kasim Reed by 714 votes.

"I am just in awe of what God is able to do", Bottoms said to a crowd of her supporters on Tuesday night.

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"We can not call this yet", Norwood told supporters at Park Tavern in Midtown, indicating that absentee and provisional ballots were yet to be counted.

Norwood canceled all appearances Wednesday to wait for a recount. But high poverty remains in some neighborhoods.

Still, numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race. Everyone seems to care about transportation, public safety and affordable housing.

"We're behind the times in terms of having a modern transportation system compared to what you see in NY or Washington", said Kendra A. King Momon, professor of politics at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

A Norwood victory would mean Atlanta - a gentrifying city where the African American share of the population remains a majority but has gone down over the years - would have its first white mayor in more than 40 years.

Bottoms went head to head at the polls against 65-year-old Mary Norwood, who ran as an Independent. "The only place I've seen them change is paper ballots", said director Richard Barron.

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