All eyes were on the race for mayor in Atlanta as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood went head to head in a run off last night.
As polls closed, it was still way too close to call but by early Wednesday Keisha Lance Bottoms took the lead.
What was even more interesting than the race itself, was the demographic breakdown of each candidate’s supporters.
When it came to votes in last night’s Mayoral race, the city of Atlanta was divided… LITERALLY.
The map highlighted a clear case of socio-economic division and racial divide that is certainly no secret to those of us who live in the city.
The contest between Bottoms and Norwood, was seen as a test of the staying power of a long-dominant Black political machine amid profound demographic and economic changes.
Many have noted that Atlanta is a booming metropolis for African-Americans but neglect to remind you that this is still the south. We may have claimed the city, but ATL is just a small segment of Georgia as a whole.
@killermike your passion for an Atlanta where all are represented at the table is unparalleled. Visibility reminds the youngest of us that anything is possible, including a little girl from Collier Heights becoming Mayor of our great city. That is the Atlanta I believe in and the legacy of Atlanta I pledge to uphold as Mayor. Thank you for your endorsement. . Atlanta are you ready to protect the legacy of our city? See you December 5th at the polls. . #standwithkeisha #standwithatlanta #keepatlantamovingforward #leavenoonebehind
In keeping with the historical context of civil rights and equality, it was important for our city to be a representation of all that Martin Luther King and other leaders have fought for.
Keisha had the support of lots of celebrity figures around the city, even those who couldn’t cast their votes in the city.
In the end, Keisha Lance Bottoms prevailed with only a slight lead. Just 759 votes separated the candidates and since it’s under a thousand votes between the two, Mary Norwood has called for recount.
Nevertheless, the evening ended with one candidate declaring herself the city’s new leader and the other fuming about her loss.
Bottoms spoke from her watch party early Wednesday, stating:
“This is about Atlanta. And what we said from Day One is that this is about what we hope this city can be for our children’s children.” Bottoms praised her supporters for standing with her when the odds were against her campaign. “We stand tonight as one Atlanta.”
“I stand here tonight as my daddy’s daughter and I can say dreams do come true,” Bottoms said. “For those who did not support me, I look forward to working with you as well, because this is still a city for all of us.”
“I’m so honored to be your 60th mayor,” she told her cheering supporters.
Norwood, who calls herself an independent (but has a lot of Republican support), refused to concede and took the podium during her rally to say that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and that she believes that some ballots have yet to be tabulated.
“We will be asking for a recount,” Norwood said.
Under Georgia law, the second-place finisher can request a recount when the margin is less than 1 percent.
Both women are Atlanta city council members. Bottoms is the chosen successor of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed. Hopefully the recount won’t change that.