National News

Keisha Lance Bottoms declares victory in race for Atlanta mayor; Mary Norwood asks for recount

Posted December 6, 2017 11:32 a.m. EST

— Keisha Lance Bottoms has declared victory in the race for mayor of Atlanta, although her opponent, Mary Norwood, says she's asking for a recount. With all precincts reporting, Bottoms lead by just over 700 votes.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Bottoms addressed her supporters claiming victory. Flanked by outgoing mayor Kasim Reed and family members, she thanked the people who helped push her towards her goal.

"We started this campaign more than 12 months ago and after talking to thousands of voters across this city, you all decided that our campaign was the one that you should support," said Bottoms. "When all odds seemed against us, you all stood with us. One Atlanta as we stand. United as one Atlanta."

As for the Norwood campaign, no one is conceding the race. The former city council member is demanding a recount and she told supporters she's waiting until absentee ballots from members of the military and provisional ballots are counted.

Norwood is also waiting to see what happens to votes from parts of DeKalb County.

"In addition, we have DeKalb County, where there are two newly annexed areas of DeKalb and I just was on the phone with our municipal clerk. She is with Fulton County but we can't get an answer from DeKalb whether or not there were no votes in those two precincts or whether or not there's some votes there. We just don't know anymore than what I just told you," said Norwood.

The number of provisional ballots will be available later Wednesday. They will be counted on Thursday.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter issued this statement following the declaration of victory:

"Georgia Democrats offer our deepest congratulations to mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms for a truly momentous victory. Keisha championed our Democratic values and never backed down. With a Mayor Bottoms, we are confident that Atlanta is in good hands for another four years. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot wait to continue to work with Atlanta's 60th mayor. Keisha Lance Bottoms.

"Keisha unabashedly spoke out against bigotry, sexism and discrimination. She stood tall and never flinched under fire. Keisha fought for her city and all of its people with love, determination, a spirit of equity and an offer of justice. This is the kind of leadership Democrats believe in.

"Let's celebrate last night, but wake up this morning ready to get back to the good work of electing good Democrats across the state. Next year, we have scores of races to win from the governor's mansion down to the school board. As Democrats, we must continue to fight for our values and what we believe in. Fight for Democrats. And expect nothing less than a truly fair and just Georgia."

Bottoms and Norwood were the final two candidates trying to become the 60th mayor of the city. Neither candidate secured the more than 50 percent of the vote needed to win during last month's election.

The latest polls showed Norwood as the front-runner prior to Tuesday, even though Bottoms held the edge in the November election, winning 26 percent of the vote to Norwood's 21 percent.

Both candidates received several endorsements. Current mayor Kasim Reed has endorsed Bottoms while Norwood has been endorsed by former mayor Shirley Franklin, as well as a host of others.