Former City Council President Lisa Borders endorses Mary Norwood

By Maria Saporta

Lisa Borders, a former president of the Atlanta City Council, is endorsing Mary Norwood for mayor.

Borders was a mayoral candidate in 2009, and she ended up coming in third – not making the run-off that included Kasim Reed and Norwood. At the time, Borders endorsed Reed, and many believed she helped put him over the top. Reed beat Norwood by just 714 votes.

Eight years later, the tables have turned.

Lisa Borders Ceasar Mitchell

Former Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders with current City Council Preasident Ceasar Mitchell. Both have endorsed Mary Norwood (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Borders has just sent out a carefully-worded text expressing her support for Norwood.

“Atlanta’s future demands and deserves integrity, innovation and inspiration,” Borders wrote. “I am confident Mary Norwood will deliver on every dimension as our next Mayor.”

In a follow-up phone conversation, Borders explained why she was endorsing Norwood over Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is receiving strong support for Mayor Reed.

“I endorsed Kasim Reed eight years ago, recognizing his relationships with the state and acknowledging the necessity of the City of Atlanta needing to partner with the state on economic development and infrastructure,” Borders said.
“Today, we need someone who is willing to be inclusive; who is willing to not only work with the state but also work with and represent all of the citizens of Atlanta and include their perspectives in governing and growing the city,” she added.

Borders, the grand-daughter of the late civil rights leader William Holmes Borders, currently is president of the WNBA. She continues to have a home in Atlanta even though she is based in New York City.

Borders’ endorsement of Norwood means that the last three presidents of the Atlanta City Council – Cathy Woolard, Borders and Ceasar Mitchell – agree on who should be the next mayor of Atlanta.

Her endorsement also adds to the growing number of African-American women (and Democrats) who have come out in favor of Norwood – including former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Norwood, who describes herself as an Independent, would be the first white mayor that Atlanta has had in 44 years when Sam Massell left office. By the way, Massell, who is president of the Buckhead Coalition, also has endorsed Norwood.

The mayoral run-off election will be held tomorrow – on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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