"We can not call this yet", Norwood told supporters at Park Tavern in Midtown, indicating that absentee and provisional ballots were yet to be counted.
Because neither of them had the majority of the vote, under Atlanta's rules, the top two candidates then entered a runoff election, running a much tighter and more heated race than the general election, which saw a candidate field of 11 candidates.
Keisha Lance Bottoms is a proud graduate of FAMU and a woman of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Mostly sunny, high near 38 — TODAY'S FORECAST
Thursday night , the low will be about 20, with a southwest wind of 3 to 5 miles per hour , according to the weather service. Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with scattered flurries before 10 p.m., then snow showers likely, mainly between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
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.
Votes rolled in late Tuesday evening, offering a nail-biting finish for the contentious race to lead one of the largest cities in the deep south - and one that echoed Atlanta's 2009 mayoral contest, when Norwood narrowly lost to Reed and requested a recount, which certified the slim loss.
But we should allow Bottoms to begin her term with a clean slate, and prove to her constituents, why she deserved to win the race.
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- Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms stopped by Good Day Atlanta Wednesday morning after declaring herself the victor of the runoff.
Transportation, public safety and affordable housing are among the most pressing challenges facing the city's new mayor.
If chosen, Norwood, 65, would be the city's first white mayor since 1974.
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If Bottoms wins, it would continue what has been called the city's black political machine, which has dominated the mayor's office since the mid-1970s. The city hasn't had a female mayor since 2010.