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Atlanta runoff election day updates — Bottoms tops Norwood in mayoral race

Keisha Lance Bottoms thanks her supporters on Tuesday night. Credit: Maria Saporta Keisha Lance Bottoms thanks her supporters on election night.Dec. 5, 2017 as Mayor Kasim Reed looks onm(Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maggie Lee

Atlantans will vote on several city and county offices in runoffs today, including the first new mayor in eight years. Check here for updates.

12:14 a.m, Dec. 6

Keisha Lance Bottoms takes the stage at her watch party in a victory speech.

She started with thanking her family and supporters, starting with her husband Derek Bottoms and the rest of her family.

“This is about Atlanta,” said Bottoms, “and the city for today’s children and their children.”

“We stand here believing all things are possible,” she said.

Keisha Lance Bottoms thanks her supporters on Tuesday night. Credit: Maria Saporta

Keisha Lance Bottoms thanks her supporters on Tuesday night. Credit: Maria Saporta

“Atlanta, this has been a very, very, very long campaign … I look forward to engaging with each of you, making sure that our city continues to move forward,” she said, adding that that includes folks who didn’t vote for her.

Much of the end of her speech was drowned out by cheers.

Her margin? 759 votes out of 92,169 cast, according to the unofficial count from both DeKalb and Fulton. Norwood, however, at about the same time Bottoms was speaking, didn’t concede and said she will ask for a recount.

11:51 p.m.

With all of Fulton’s votes reported, a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Keisha Lance Bottoms watch party chants her name, as she’s running ahead.

Mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms' watch party at the Hyatt Downtown on Tuesday. Credit: Maria Saporta

Mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms’ watch party at the Hyatt Downtown on Tuesday. Credit: Maria Saporta


Fulton County returns show Atlanta City Council wins for Cleta Winslow, Dustin Hillis and Marci Overstreet. Felicia Moore appears to have enough votes in Fulton alone to win the citywide Council President race.


11:14 p.m.

Thousands of Fulton votes just reported — Keisha Lance Bottoms takes the lead for mayor, with about 51 percent of votes. Here’s the Fulton geography, roughly:


10:30 p.m.

Two and a half hours after polls close, it’s a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Park Tavern, where mayoral candidate Mary Norwood and Council president candidate Alex Wan are having their watch parties on separate floors.

Peter Aman, who also ran for mayor, came out to say Norwood’s watching returns and will be out later. She’s at about 52 percent to Keisha Lance Bottoms’ 48 percent.

Crowd at Mary Norwood's watch party on Tuesday night. Credit: Maggie Lee

Crowd at Mary Norwood’s watch party on Tuesday night. Credit: Maggie Lee


9:30 p.m.

At her campaign watch party with a few dozen supporters, Council President candidate Felicia Moore spoke for all of political Atlanta: “We’re all anxious and ready for the results to come in.”

Atlanta City Council president candidate Felicia Moore on Tuesday night. Credit: Maggie Lee

Atlanta City Council president candidate Felicia Moore on Tuesday night. Credit: Maggie Lee

A few DeKalb results have come in:

6:00 p.m.


Rain had rolled into much of metro Atlanta by the evening. That may hurt turnout in the last two hours of voting.

City Council president candidate Felicia Moore reported a few hours ago clouds only, no rain, at Fickett Elementary School.

And Alex Wan, also a Council president candidate, reported that he was running all over the city meeting folks. His late afternoon hashtag? #WetVotesStillCount


2:00 p.m.

Here’s an idea of what it costs to get to a runoff in a year with a lot of turnover, according to recently published campaign finance disclosures.

There’s turnover because Mayor Kasim Reed hit the end of his two-term limit this time, and nearly half the Council decided to skip re-election bids and run for higher office: either Council president or the mayor’s post. The AJC has a new report on last-minute mayoral spending.

Sums are through Nov. 29 unless otherwise noted, and include any loans candidates made to their own campaigns.

The lower-profile City Council president election is already much less expensive than the mayor’s race. But still, the two frontrunners have raised about three-quarters of a million dollars between them.

City Council’s District 9 seat is vacant because incumbent Felicia Moore went to run for Council president. The race is definitely less expensive than a citywide race. It might — or might not — have even broken six figures in fundraising.

Candidate Dustin Hillis reported raising $70,574 and spending $54,826
Candidate Kwame Abernathy has not filed any disclosures.

City Council District 11 is also a vacant seat because incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms is running for mayor. Candidate Harold Hardnett’s disclosures cover the period only through Oct. 25. A subsequent disclosure for November has not been posted.

When an incumbent is involved, it’s harder to compare two candidates’ cash. Incumbents can and do roll over leftover funds from previous runs. So their new money is mixed with old.

But to get an idea, in the District 4 Atlanta City Council race, here’s a look at campaign fundraising and spending only from Jan. 1 through Nov. 29. It only covers cash donations, not in-kind donations.

Cleta Winslow’s reports contain no reported campaign spending this year, whereas Dozier has reported a very busy year.

Sources: Latest campaign finance docs, zipped together in one (large) folder. Or view them individually at gaeasyfile.com.

7 a.m., Dec. 5

Polls opened for runoffs in DeKalb and Fulton counties.  They’ll be open until 8 p.m.

There are nine city of Atlanta runoffs and two for Fulton County Commission:

City of Atlanta:

Fulton County Commission:

And a note on polling hours from the city:

Note:  Persons voting in Atlanta in Dekalb precincts/polling places between the hours of 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm will be required to vote a provisional ballot because the electronic voting machines will cut-off at 7:00 pm to coincide with voting hours throughout the rest of DeKalb County.


Mayoral candidates Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood let social media know when they voted in the morning:

Maggie Lee

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.


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