Mayor, city council president to be chosen in Atlanta

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Mayor, city council president to be chosen in Atlanta

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.

If Norwood wins, she would be Atlanta's first white mayor in 44 years.

The contest between Bottoms, who is black, and Norwood, who is white, was seen as a test of the staying power of a long-dominant black political machine amid profound demographic and economic changes. Norwood calls herself an independent and Bottoms is the chosen successor of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed.

The latest polls show Norwood as the front-runner, even though Bottoms held the edge in the November election, winning 26 percent of the vote to Norwood's 21 percent. After the December 5 runoff, less than 800 votes separate the two.

Councilwoman Mary Norwood did not concede the race and said she would wait until Thursday for provisional and absentee ballots to be counted.

Norwood also picked up a key endorsement from former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, who finished third in the November 7 contest with 14 percent of the vote.

Bottoms and Norwood are Atlanta city councilwomen.

If Bottoms wins, she will become Atlanta's second female mayor, along with continuing a trend of black mayors in Atlanta beginning in 1973.

Atlanta mayoral contenders Keisha Lance Bottoms, left, speaks as Mary Norwood listens at the WSB live debate in Atlanta on Sun., Dec. 3 2017.

In Senate District 39, voters are deciding between Atlanta Democrats Nikema Williams and Linda Pritchett.

In House District 60, metro Atlanta Democrats Kim Schofield and De'Andre Pickett are vying for a vacant seat that includes parts of Fulton and Clayton counties.

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

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