Politics/Elections

Published on December 22nd, 2017 |

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Mary Norwood concedes defeat to Bottoms in mayor’s race with video

By John Schaffner

In a video posted at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, mayoral candidate and Buckhead resident Mary Norwood has conceded defeat to fellow city Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, almost two weeks after the runoff election.

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Norwood said she will not challenge the results in court in a race settled by 821 votes, even though she believes voting irregularities happened.

“Although there were some irregularities with the election, I have decided not to contest it …,” Norwood said in the video. “For the future of this city, I believe it is the right thing to do to move on and hold a new administration accountable to serve this great city well.”

After finishing as the top two vote-getters in a crowded general election field, Bottoms and Norwood went into the runoff neck-and-neck, with Norwood holding a slim lead in most polling until days before the election, when Bottoms appears to have surged.

With more than 95,000 ballots cast, Bottoms appeared to have finished on election night with a victory of 759 votes. After a recount requested by Norwood, that number edged up to 821. Eight years earlier, Norwood lost her race to current Mayor Kasim Reed by 714 votes in a runoff.

One reason Norwood lost the runoff election likely was that only 33 percent of the registered Buckhead voters bothered to go to the polls and cast a vote. In fact there were Buckhead precincts where not even 15 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot.

While the video struck a mostly conciliatory tone, Norwood did have some sharp words for the campaign that was waged against her.

“As someone who has been involved in politics, I knew that it was a rough-and-tumble game. But I was appalled at the misrepresentations of me personally and of all those connected to me,” Norwood said. “I was stunned to see that I, who had faithfully and equitably served all Atlantans for over two decades, was being accused of being a racist who would turn the clock back to 1950. They made it all about race and a divisive campaign.

“From the start, my goal was different. I was committed to running a campaign that traversed our entire city. Our campaign was always about embracing everyone in all of our diverse communities.”

To view Norwood’s conciliatory video, click here.

During the campaign, the Bottoms’ campaign sought to link Norwood, a political independent, to Republicans, particularly President Donald Trump. Norwood would have become Atlanta’s first white mayor since 1974.

After the general election, several black Democratic candidates endorsed Norwood, but she also received support from well-known Republican operatives in the race.

Bottoms is scheduled to be sworn in as Atlanta’ s next mayor on Jan. 2.

 

 

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