The race for mayor in Atlanta early Wednesday was too close to call, with one candidate declaring herself the city's new leader and the other vowing to request a recount. The margin was razor-thin, with several hundred votes separating Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. Bottoms spoke 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." "I'm so honored to be your 60th mayor," she told her cheering supporters. But Norwood took the podium at her own rally and said that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and that she believes that some ballots have yet to be tabulated, the AP reports.
Just 759 votes separated the candidates Wednesday, Norwood told supporters. Bottoms led Norwood by a margin of less than 1%, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law. Both women are Atlanta city council members. The contest between Bottoms, who is black, and Norwood, who is white, was seen as a test of the staying power of a long-dominant black political machine amid profound demographic and economic changes. Bottoms, the chosen successor of outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed, is a Democrat. Norwood, 65, is an independent and a win for her would end the Democratic Party's hold on an office it has held without interruption since 1879.