rain
Monday January 22nd, 2018 10:46PM

Atlanta mayor's race is too close to call as recount looms

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The race for mayor in Atlanta early Wednesday was too close to call, with one candidate declaring herself the city's new leader and the other vowing to request a recount.

The margin was razor-thin, with several hundred votes separating Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.

Bottoms spoke early Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel, saying near the end of her speech that "I am just in awe of what God is able to do."

"I'm so honored to be your 60th mayor," she told her cheering supporters.

But Norwood took the podium at her own rally and said that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and she believes some ballots have yet to be tabulated.

"We will be asking for a recount," Norwood said.

Just 759 votes separated the candidates early Wednesday morning, Norwood told supporters.

Bottoms led Norwood by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law.

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.

Both women are Atlanta city council members. Norwood calls herself an independent and Bottoms is the chosen successor of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed.

A victory for Bottoms, 47, would continue a run of African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s.

A win for Norwood, 65, would give Atlanta its first-ever white female mayor, and end the Democratic Party's hold on an office it has held without interruption since 1879.

A half-century after white flight led to sprawl that fueled legendary traffic jams, Atlanta is booming economically and growing at a breakneck pace, with townhouses and apartments going up in vacant lots all over town. Parts of the city are more diverse, younger and wealthier than they have been in years.

Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but many of the city's most formidable challenges transcend race. Everyone seems to care about transportation, public safety and affordable housing. As rents and home prices soar, some longtime residents struggle to stay in their neighborhoods, and face no easy commutes if they move out.

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

"It impacts quality of life because most of us don't know what we're going to run into when we head into the city," she said of Atlanta's notorious traffic jams. "That's a huge issue that we have to address."

A big question is whether an ongoing federal probe of corruption in city contracting under Reed's watch will encourage voters to take a fresh look at Norwood, despite fears that as an independent who lives in the upscale Buckhead area of the city, she'll turn out to be a stealth Republican who will serve up City Hall to Georgia's deep-red political apparatus.

As voters went to the polls Tuesday, none spoke openly of race.

"Just listening to Keisha and comparing what she said to the words of Ms. Norwood, I felt like she shared my values more," said Barbara McFarlin, a 50-year-old black woman who lives in the southwest Atlanta district Bottoms has represented on the city council.

James Parson, a 49-year-old black man who also lives in Bottoms' district, said he's been friends with Norwood for three decades and appreciates how she's made herself available to constituents all over the city as an at-large council member.

"I love that Mary is connected to most of the communities in Atlanta, if not all of them," he said. "She's approachable. She has been here. She's no Johnny-come-lately."

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. Regardless of who wins, Atlanta will have its second female mayor, following Franklin who left office in 2010.

Jeffrey Brower, 45, a white man who lives in the East Atlanta neighborhood, said he voted for Norwood, but that his vote was more a vote against Bottoms and Reed. Bottoms is too close to Reed and would be like an extension of the current administration, he said.

"Kasim seemed to be more about what's best for Kasim than what's best for the city," Brower said.

___

Associated Press writers Kate Brumback and Errin Haines Whack contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US homeless count rises, pushed by crisis on the West Coast
A surge in homelessness on the West Coast has pushed the annual national count to nearly 554,000, the first time the number has gone up since 2010
1:03AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Atlanta mayor's race is too close to call as recount looms
The race for mayor in Atlanta early Wednesday was too close to call, with one candidate declaring herself the city's new leader and the other vowing to request a recount
12:55AM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Atlanta mayor's race too close to call
Atlanta's two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call
12:41AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rock icon Johnny Hallyday, known as French Elvis, dies at 74
Johnny Hallyday, France's biggest rock star for more than half a century who all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes, has died at age 74
11:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Famed 'Concussion' pathologist alleges autopsy interference
San Joaquin County's chief medical examiner resigned over what he said was interference by the sheriff that has become so invasive that it borders on the unlicensed practice of medicine
11:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Beyonce presents Kaepernick with SI's Muhammad Ali Award
Colin Kaepernick accepted Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from Beyonce and promised that "with or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people."
10:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
California communities under siege from wind-driven fires
Ferocious winds in Southern California have whipped up explosive wildfires, burning a psychiatric hospital and scores of other structures
10:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
President: French rock icon Johnny Hallyday dies at 74
French rock icon Johnny Hallyday, who packed sports stadiums and was the country's top rock star for decades, has died at 74
10:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump forges ahead on Jerusalem-as-capital despite warnings
U.S. officials say President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday and instruct the State Department to begin a multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city
9:36PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
US homeless count rises, pushed by crisis on the West Coast
A surge in homelessness on the West Coast has pushed the annual national count to nearly 554,000, the first time the number has gone up since 2010
1:03AM ( 5 minutes ago )
The Latest: Atlanta mayor's race too close to call
Atlanta's two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call
12:41AM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israeli capital
U.S. officials say President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday and instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city
12:32AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Judge considers whether ricin suspect should remain detained
A federal judge will consider whether a woman accused of manufacturing ricin and testing the deadly toxin on fellow residents of a senior living facility in Vermont should continue to be detained
12:19AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Rock icon Johnny Hallyday, known as French Elvis, dies at 74
Johnny Hallyday, France's biggest rock star for more than half a century who all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes, has died at age 74
11:50PM ( 1 hour ago )