As Keisha Bottoms declares victory as Atlanta's new mayor, Norwood requests recount
Dec 06 2017 by Desiree Burns
According to officials, approximately 800 votes separated Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood after local officials tallied more than 92,000 ballots.
Atlanta has voted for a new mayor, but Tuesday's election still leaves questions about who she will be.
Both candidates are members of Atlanta's city council.
- Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms stopped by Good Day Atlanta Wednesday morning after declaring herself the victor of the runoff.
Due to Bottoms winning the race by a margin of less than 1 percent, Norwood immediately called for a recount of the vote once the results were announced, noting that absentee ballots from military members still had yet to be included in the final count.
"Bottoms, who is black, faced Norwood, who is white".
The tense race has been charged by race and political identity.
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"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.
Atlanta's last white mayor, Sam Massell, left office in 1974 and was succeeded by five African-American mayors in the next four decades: Jackson, Andrew Young, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Reed. And so did her supporters. She identifies as an independent.
Voters were deciding between Mary Norwood, who calls herself an independent, and Keisha Lance Bottoms, the chosen successor of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed. But Georgia Democrats, who supported Bottoms, accused Norwood of being a closet conservative. Her victory also would continue the Democratic Party's hold on an office it has held without interruption since 1879.
"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.
"Although race has had an inescapable presence in the hard-fought election, issues such as bureaucratic corruption, affordable housing, and transportation played a prominent role in the discourse of the campaign".
The contest between Bottoms, who is black, and Norwood, who is white, was seen as a test of the staying power of a long-dominant black political machine amid profound demographic and economic changes.