Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Atlanta mayoral candidate demands recount after losing by razor-thin margin

Atlanta mayoral candidate demands recount after losing by razor-thin margin

The race looks headed for a recount.

From the beginning, Keisha Lance Bottoms made her political allegiance plain and clear: She was a Democrat whose beliefs aligned with those of a growing city known as something of a Southern bastion for liberal politics.

"And so for all the little girls out there who need somebody to believe that you're better than your circumstances".

"After I sleep, we'll start refocusing on the transition", she said.

Georgia utilizes a majority rule with a runoff voting system, which means that if no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote in the general election, a final race between the top two candidates decides the victor.

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.

"It's not over yet", Norwood said. "It's a lot harder to drive a van with six felons, you know guys who are going to commit felonies by voting illegally if somebody's watching", she said.

Bottoms and Norwood stood for Tuesday's runoff after emerging from a crowded field of candidates last month.

Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race. After losing that election, old recordings surfaced of Norwood speaking negatively about black voters.

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If chosen, Norwood, 65, would be the city's first white mayor since 1974. And so did her supporters.

Norwood also got endorsements from several of her former competitors, and state senator Vincent Fort - the unsuccessful candidate backed by independent Sen. She identifies as an independent.

Bottoms counts the backing of major Georgia Democrats like former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a civil rights icon and former United Nations ambassador.

Bottoms likewise had the backing of major Atlanta hip-hop figures, like Killer Mike and T.I., who compared Norwood to President Donald Trump.

This isn't the first time Norwood has done this, either.

The race was extremely close, with Lance Bottoms securing just 759 more votes than Mary Norwood, who has asked for a recount.

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

"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".

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