Bottoms claims victory and Norwood calls for recount in mayoral race

Associated Press

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

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

Bottoms will replace current mayor Kasim Reed, who has served as the city's mayor since 2010.

Norwood told supporters that just 759 votes separated the candidates early Wednesday morning.

A win for Bottoms would continue a run for African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s. After that, Norwood can formally request a recount, which would probably happen by Tuesday.

"The votes for Ms. Bottoms have come primarily from the south side of the city, which is predominantly African-American, and the votes for Ms. Norwood came from the north end of the city which is predominantly white". Her victory also would continue the Democratic Party's hold on an office it has held without interruption since 1879.

Still, numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race.

"And we don't know how many of them are going to count", Barron said. Among them: Transportation, public safety and affordable housing. Because neither of them had the majority of the vote, under Atlanta's rules, the top two candidates then entered a runoff election, running a much tighter and more heated race than the general election, which saw a candidate field of 11 candidates.

In a moment that sent chills through Rashad Richey, the Mayor-Elect paused to say that the City of Atlanta owes Richey a debt of gratitude for him raising the consciousness of voters in this election.

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.

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