Keisha Lance Bottoms Becomes City of Atlanta Mayor-Elect as Opponent Demands Recount

Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms arrives for a runoff election night party at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL Branden Camp

“I stand here tonight as my daddy’s daughter and I can say dreams do come true. For those who did not support me, I look forward to working with you as well, because this is still a city for all of us.”Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor-elect, City of Atlanta

Late Tuesday evening, Democratic candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms won a tense race to become the City of Atlanta’s newest Mayor against her opponent and fellow councilmember, Mary Norwood. Bottoms, an HBCU graduate, Atlanta City Councilwoman, and Walker’s Legacy Atlanta #WLPower25 2017 Honoree, led Norwood by 759 votes and a margin of less than 1 percent to win the office.

This margin, however, is considered the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law. Norwood announced her request for a recount during a Wednesday morning rally. As the recount looms, voters send declarations of excitement and support for Bottoms who is recognized as the second Black woman Mayor-elect in the city’s history.

This victory for Bottoms, 47, continues a run of African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s.

An early morning update from reports the following statement from Bottoms: “This is about Atlanta. And what we said from Day One is that this is about what we hope this city can be for our children’s children,” Bottoms stated. “We stand tonight as one Atlanta.”

Political analysts have predicted that African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome. Some of Atlanta’s most prominent issues include transportation, public safety, and affordable housing. While the recount is still pending, Bottom’s election adds to the rise of Black women elected to political leadership in cities nationwide.

Rachel Hampton

Communications and Special Projects Associate

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