As Keisha Bottoms declares victory as Atlanta's new mayor, Norwood requests recount

Associated Press

Associated Press

In a tight race, Keisha Lance Bottoms has declared victory in the race for Atlanta mayor.

Norwood, who trails behind front-runner Keisha Lance Bottoms by just 759 votes after Tuesday's election, was bested by current mayor Kasim Reed in a 2009 runoff by only 714 votes. Norwood cited an unofficial count in remarks before her supporters, and said while she was trailing her opponent Bottoms, she was waiting for further updates on the vote total later in the week. Watch that video in the Facebook post below. "And what we said from day one is that this is about what we hope this city can be for our children's children", she added.

"Bottoms, who is black, faced Norwood, who is white".

Norwood told reporters she meant to seek a recount.

Bottoms led the race by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law, according to official reports.

Polls have closed in a runoff election between two Atlanta councilwomen vying for the city's top job.

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In a last-minute boost to Norwood - and one with significant cachet - former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin endorsed the independent candidate over Bottoms.

A victory for 47-year-old Bottoms would continue a run of African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s.

Bottoms, meanwhile, sought to cast Norwood as a Republican hiding behind the guise of her independent status. Bernie Sanders of Vermont - had kind words to say about her after the general election.

Norwood also faced questions about her party loyalty.

Bottoms counts the backing of major Georgia Democrats like former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a civil rights icon and former United Nations ambassador. Norwood, who is white, would be Atlanta's first white female mayor.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting just after midnight, outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed took to the stage at Bottoms' campaign party at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown and introduced her as the next mayor of the city.

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