Reality has finally set in for Mary Norwood in the Atlanta mayoral race.
The Independent candidate announced her concession to Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms late Wednesday (Dec. 21), saying she will not contest the Dec. 5 runoff results despite earlier calls for a recount.
Norwood lost to Bottoms by 821 votes in a race in which nearly 90,000 people cast ballots.
Norwood had asked for a recount in the runoff. But in a change of mind, the candidate said in her concession video Wednesday that while she believes there were voting irregularities, she would not contest the results.
“For the future of this city, I believe it is the right thing to do to move on and hold a new administration accountable,” Norwood says in the video, posted to YouTube.
Bottoms and Norwood got about 26% and 21%, respectively, of the vote in the November 7 general election, emerging as the top two candidates from a field of 11. In Georgia, if no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote in the general election, a final race between the top two candidates decides the winner.
Atlanta is a Democratic stronghold in a state that is largely Republican, and the city’s government remains the only major Democratic power center in a state political system dominated by Republican officeholders.
Norwood also said in her video that she resents being called a racist “who would turn back the clock to 1950” during the campaign. Bottoms had labeled Norwood as a Republican masquerading as an Independent.
“They made it all about race and a divisive campaign,” Norwood said.
Current Mayor Kasim Reed, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits and supported Bottoms, applauded the decision to concede.
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