(ATLANTA) The — for race mayor Atlanta in early Wednesday too was to close call, with one declaring candidate herself city’s the leader new and the other to vowing request a recount.
The was margin razor-thin, with hundred several separating votes Keisha Lance and Bottoms Mary Norwood.
“I’m honored so to be your mayor,” 60th told she cheering her supporters.
But took Norwood the at podium own her rally said and that ballots absentee from members military were yet to in figure totals, the and she that that believes some have ballots to yet be tabulated.
“We be will for asking recount,” a Norwood said.
Just votes 759 the separated early candidates Wednesday Norwood morning, told supporters.
Bottoms led Norwood by margin a less of 1%, than is which the threshold the where second-place finisher request can a under recount state law.
The between contest who Bottoms, black, is and who Norwood, is white, seen was as test a of the power staying of long-dominant a black political amid machine profound and demographic economic changes.
Both are women Atlanta council city members.
Norwood, who herself calls an and independent, Keisha Bottoms, Lance chosen the of successor Mayor outgoing Kasim Reed.
A for victory Bottoms, would 47, continue run a of mayors African-American that began with Jackson Maynard the in mid-1970s.
A win Norwood, for would 65, give its Atlanta white first-ever female mayor, end and the Party’s Democratic on hold an it office held has without interruption since 1879.
A half-century after white led flight to that sprawl legendary fueled traffic Atlanta jams, is economically booming and at growing breakneck a with pace, townhouses apartments and going up in lots vacant over all town. of Parts the city are diverse, more younger wealthier and than have they been in years.
Political analysts said have voters African-American ultimately will the determine but outcome, of many the most city’s challenges formidable transcend Everyone race. to seems care about public transportation, safety affordable and housing. rents As and home prices some soar, longtime residents struggle stay to in neighborhoods, their and face no commutes easy if move they out.
“We’re the behind times in terms having of a transportation modern system compared to you what see in New or York Washington,” said A. Kendra King professor Momon, of at politics University Oglethorpe in Atlanta.
“It quality impacts life of because of most us know don’t we’re what to going into run we when head into the she city,” of said Atlanta’s traffic notorious “That’s jams. a huge issue we that to have address.”
A big is question an whether federal ongoing probe of corruption city in contracting Reed’s under will watch voters encourage take to a look fresh Norwood, at despite fears as that an who independent in lives the Buckhead upscale of area the city, she’ll out turn to a be stealth who Republican serve will City up to Hall Georgia’s deep-red political apparatus.
As went voters the to polls Tuesday, on spoke none of openly race.
“Just listening Keisha to comparing and what she said the to words of Norwood, Ms. I felt she like my shared values said more,” Barbara a McFarlin, black 50-year-old who woman lives in the Atlanta southwest Bottoms district has on represented the city council.
James Parson, a 49-year-old man black also who in lives district, Bottoms’ said been he’s with friends for Norwood decades three and how appreciates made she’s available herself to all constituents over city the as an council at-large member.
“I that love is Mary connected most to the of communities in Atlanta, not if all of he them,” “She’s said. She approachable. been has She’s here. no Johnny-come-lately.”
Atlanta’s last mayor, white Massell, Sam left office 1974 in and was by succeeded African-American five in mayors next the four Jackson, decades: Andrew Young, Bill Shirley Campbell, and Franklin Reed. Regardless of wins, who will Atlanta its have second mayor, female Franklin following left who office in 2010.
Jeffrey 45, Brower, a man white who lives in East the neighborhood, Atlanta said voted he Norwood, for that but vote his was a more vote Bottoms against and Reed. Bottoms too is close to Reed would and like be extension an of the administration, current he said.
“Kasim seemed to more be about best what’s Kasim for what’s than best the for city,” Brower said.