Atlanta mayoral candidate demands recount after losing by razor-thin margin

One day after Emory's annexation into Atlanta was approved, Keisha Lance Bottoms claimed victory as Atlanta's next mayor after she garnered the most votes in the runoff race December 5 as of 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, while her opponent Emory alumna Mary Norwood (74C) called for a recount.

Bottoms, meanwhile, sought to cast Norwood as a Republican hiding behind the guise of her independent status.The city of Atlanta is a Democratic stronghold in a state that is otherwise largely Republican, and the city's government remains the only major Democratic power center in the state's political system, which is dominated by Republican officeholders.

While Bottoms and her supporters claimed victory, Norwood told her supporters she is asking for a recount. Norwood told her supporters that she will call for a recount.

But Norwood took the podium at her own rally and said that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and she believes some ballots have yet to be tabulated.

Georgia law allows for recounts when the difference between candidates is less than 1 percent.

Despite those questions, Bottoms declared her victory.

"I am just in awe of what God is able to do", Bottoms said. "Across this city we have black girl magic, black boy magic, white boy magic, white girl magic ... and everything in between".

"This is about Atlanta", Bottoms said.

"You are right. It's not over yet", she said.

Bottoms and Norwood earned about 26% and 21%, respectively, of the vote in the general election on November 6, meaning they emerged as the top two candidates from the field of 11.

In 2009, the recount was finished eight days after the December 1 runoff, with Norwood conceding on December 9.

In terms of overall percentage, Bottoms and Norwood each received 50% of the vote.

Bottoms counts the backing of major Georgia Democrats like former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a civil rights icon and former United Nations ambassador. Reed has endorsed Bottoms.

Whoever wins will become only the second female mayor in Atlanta history, joining Franklin, who served from 2002-10.

Atlanta residents are heading to the polls in what could be a historic mayoral election.

Bottoms' "All Rise" campaign platform focused on improving public safety, resolving traffic and transit problems, developing affordable housing, creating new jobs and supporting students and families through education, according to her campaign website.

Norwood also got endorsements from several of her former competitors, and state senator Vincent Fort - the unsuccessful candidate backed by independent Sen. Both candidates declared support for Emory's petition for annexation.

Alex Klugerman and Richard Chess contributed reporting.

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