A victory for Bottoms, 47, would continue a run of African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s. Norwood says she's waiting until absentee ballots from members of the military and provisional ballots are counted. It was a slim victory for Reed, one that was confirmed by a recount requested by Norwood.
A half-century after white flight led to sprawl that fueled legendary traffic jams, Atlanta is booming economically and growing at a breakneck pace, with townhouses and apartments going up in vacant lots all over town. But high poverty remains in some neighbourhoods.
Though votes tracked along racial lines in north-side and south-side neighbourhoods, both candidates won votes in the political battleground of east Atlanta.
Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race. Earlier this week, Tyrese shared an Instagram clip urging Atlanta voters to show their support for Bottoms on "the most important day, period" for "culture, diversity, voice, access, equal opportunities, [and] everything pertaining to what we stand for in the city of Atlanta". Among them: Transportation, public safety and affordable housing. Because neither of them had the majority of the vote, under Atlanta's rules, the top two candidates then entered a runoff election, running a much tighter and more heated race than the general election, which saw a candidate field of 11 candidates.
Acknowledging this history, Norwood said, "I've done this before".
Bottoms will be the second Black woman to lead the city of Atlanta as mayor following Shirley Franklin, who served from 2002 to 2010.