Mayor-elect Kasim Reed
Atlanta’s New Mayor
Following an impressive of African Americans Kasim Reed emerged as the winner in a hotly contested race to replace Mayor Shirley Franklin, the current mayor.
A former Georgia state senator, Reed will be sworn in as Atlanta’s next mayor after a Wednesday recount confirmed his slim margin of victory over opponent Mary Norwood.
His election to succeed current Mayor Franklin extends a decades-long line of African Americans in a city that is predominantly African American. Beginning with Mayor Maynard Jackson in 1974, African Americans have dominated mayoral politics since – followed by Andrew Young, Bill Campbell and the incumbent.
It came after a hard-fought race that was extended beyond November’s general election with a December runoff and the recount. More than 84,000 ballots were cast in the runoff more votes than in the general election.
The recount showed Reed won 714 more votes than City Councilwoman Mary Norwood. Norwood picked up just one vote in the recount. Because of the change, Fulton County elections officials said they would have to recertify the race on Thursday.
Norwood ran a strong grassroots campaign but fell short of becoming the city’s first white mayor since 1973. She was scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The 40-year-old Reed, who entered the race a few months ago as a virtual unknown, ended the contest strongly, passing Norwood in fundraising. Reed began assuming his new role even as the Dec. 1 runoff was being sorted out, announcing his chief operating officer this week and an interim police chief as the recount began on Wednesday