Keisha Lance Bottoms will serve as Atlanta’s next mayor.
Bottoms’ opponent Mary Norwood conceded the race Thursday morning after a tight and hotly-contested runoff race that resulted in a recount that was certified last week. She is the second woman ever to lead the city. Shirley Franklin, also an African American woman, led the city between 2002 and 2010.
Norwood initially called for the recount, but later questioned whether a recently-annexed Atlanta neighborhood should be counted. Bottoms won by just over 700 votes. Bottoms won a November general election with 26 percent of the vote – less than the majority required for an outright win. That forced Bottoms and Norwood to compete in a December 5 special election.
“This was a long, hard fought campaign and I remain grateful for the support we received across this city. We truly are stronger together and we will move forward as one Atlanta,” Bottoms said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “I appreciate the passion Ms. Norwood has shown towards our city and look forward to working with leaders across Atlanta to continue to improve our communities.”
Bottoms, who will step into her role in January, has served on Atlanta’s city council since 2010. She is a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School (Atlanta), Florida A&M University, and Georgia State University College of Law.