Atlanta mayor's race comes down to close call

Atlanta mayor's race comes down to close call

Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Mary Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms.

When calling for a vote recount, Norwood cited an unofficial count and said that she was waiting for the vote count to be updated later in the week.

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. Dist. 9 contender Dustin Hills eked out a victory over Kwame Abernathy, while Marci Collier Overstreet bested Harold Hardnett for the Dist. 11 seat.

Just 759 votes separated the candidates early Wednesday morning, Norwood told supporters. In 2009, Norwood barely lost the mayoral race to Mayor Kasim Reed.

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.

This week, many celebrities took to social media to encourage Atlanta to support the Democratic candidate.

A victory for 47-year-old Bottoms would continue a run of African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s. But with initial results showing a margin of just a few hundred votes, her rival asked for a recount.

Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race.

Transportation, public safety and affordable housing are among the most pressing challenges facing the city's new mayor.

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

"In the eastern part of Atlanta you see a good deal of gentrification going on, and you see a mix of precincts - some for Norwood and some for Bottoms", Boone said.

"It's not over yet", Norwood said.

Acknowledging this history, Norwood said, "I've done this before". The city hasn't had a female mayor since 2010.

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