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Atlanta Mayor's Race Between Bottoms & Norwood Moves To Recount With Bottoms Leading By 800 Votes

Keisha Lance Bottoms at an election night watch party in Atlanta early Wednesday. Ms. Bottoms declared victory after a close mayoral race on Tuesday, but her opponent, Mary Norwood, said she would request a recount. CreditJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

Keisha Lance Bottoms at an election night watch party in Atlanta early Wednesday. Ms. Bottoms declared victory after a close mayoral race on Tuesday, but her opponent, Mary Norwood, said she would request a recount. CreditJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

For the second time in eight years, the leadership Atlanta, the South’s most influential city, is settling into a recount, writes The New York Times. 

Fewer than 800 votes separated Atlanta’s two candidates for mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, after officials tallied more than 92,000 ballots that were cast in Tuesday's  runoff election. Ms. Norwood, seeking to become Atlanta’s first white mayor in more than 40 years, said she would ask for a recount once provisional and absentee ballots were counted this week.

Ms. Bottoms and her allies would not cede the moment of jubilation, declaring victory on Wednesday.

“This has been a very, very, very long campaign, but as we look ahead toward the future, I look forward to engaging with each of you, making sure that our city continues to move forward,” said Ms. Bottoms, who is a member of the City Council from Southwest Atlanta. “And 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.”

This is Ms. Norwood's second recount. In 2009, she sought a recount after trailing Kasim Reed, ultimately losing the race by 714 votes. A single vote changed in the final tally.

In a mayoral race that is formally nonpartisan, Bottoms made her political allegiance plain: She is a Democrat whose beliefs aligned with those of a growing city known as something of a Southern bastion for liberal politics. Norwood ran as an Independent, with Democrats insisting that she is a Republican who quietly embraced Karen Handel in the bitterly contested win against Jon Ossoff. The Times notes that policy differences between the two candidates were minimal.