Bottoms claims victory and Norwood calls for recount in mayoral race

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Atlanta mayoral hopeful Mary Norwood had seen this movie before: A nail-biting runoff election where she came up short by just a few hundred votes.

"I don't expect there will be any change following the recount", Bottoms said.

"The votes are pretty much a mirror of what happened in 2008", said Williams Boone, a professor of political science at Clark Atlanta University.

Unofficial results show Bottoms up by less than 1,000 votes.

An analysis of the voting patterns within the city shows a north-to-south divide between voting blocs, with most voters for Bottoms coming in the south and southwestern portions of the city, while voters in the north and northeastern parts of Atlanta tended to be more likely to vote for Norwood. Norwood lost to Kasim Reed by 714 votes. 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.

Bottoms spoke early Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel, saying near the end of her speech that "I am just in awe of what God is able to do". Norwood has since requested a recount, claiming that the margin was too small to call.

A half-century after white flight led to sprawl that fueled legendary traffic jams, Atlanta is booming economically and growing at a breakneck pace, with townhouses and apartments going up in vacant lots all over town. But high poverty remains in some neighborhoods.

Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race. Among them: Transportation, public safety and affordable housing.

"We just don't know", she said.

Nothing says a new mayor is coming more clearly than a new city hall office marked "Mayor Elect Transition Team".

Bottoms a Democrat, secured the mayoral seat in a tight race against Mary Norwood, an Independent and fellow member of the city council.

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