- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Georgia state Sen. Kasim Reed will be sworn in as Atlanta’s next mayor after his slim margin of victory over opponent Mary Norwood was confirmed Wednesday in a recount.

His election to succeed current Mayor Shirley Franklin extends a decades-long line of African-American mayors in the mostly black city.

It came after a hard-fought race that was extended beyond November’s general election with a December runoff and the recount. More than 84,000 ballots were cast in the runoff — more votes than in the general election.

The results of the recount showed Reed won 714 more votes than City Councilwoman Mary Norwood. Norwood picked up just one vote in the recount. Because of the change, Fulton County elections officials said they would have to recertify the race on Thursday.

Norwood ran a strong grassroots campaign but fell short of becoming the city’s first white mayor since 1973.

The 40-year-old Reed, who entered the race a few months ago as a virtual unknown, ended the contest strongly, passing Norwood in fundraising.

Reed and Norwood fought for votes across the city and over the airwaves in the month leading up to the runoff. Both tried to gain a critical mass of racial crossover votes, with victory likely hinging on black-versus-white turnout. Norwood was trying to become the city’s first white mayor in more than three decades.

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