Fri., October 30, 2009 4:24pm (EDT)

Democrats Fear Loss of Atlanta
By Susanna Capelouto
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Atlanta could get a mayor who is not a declared Democrat. Front runner Mary Norwood says she's an independent (photo: Chuck Koehler)
Atlanta could get a mayor who is not a declared Democrat. Front runner Mary Norwood says she's an independent (photo: Chuck Koehler)
Georgia’s Democratic Party is worried that Atlanta, a city with the state’s largest Democratic constituency could elect a mayor who calls herself independent. Front Runner Mary Norwood, an at large council woman from the affluent Buckhead neighborhood is leading in the polls with more than 40 percent.

“It is important that a Democrat is leading Atlanta,” says Democratic Party spokesman Matt Weyandt.

To that end the Democratic Party has sent our fliers to registered Democrats in Atlanta that accuse Norwood of being a Republican. It urges people to vote for Kasim Reed or Lisa Borders, both known Democrats.

Norwood has voted in Republican primaries in the past and has attended a state Republican convention. But she’s also said she voted for Barack Obama and believes in his message of change.

Weyandt says Norwood would not be polling in the 40s in Atlanta if people had known earlier that she had voted Republican. “A lot of folks are not aware. Hopefully [the flier] gets the message out,” Weyandt says.

Weyandt would not say how much money the Democratic Party spent on the flier.

Pollster Matt Towery of Insider Advantage says that Norwood can only win without a runoff if she can keep the support she has had in the city’s African American community, which votes predominantly Democratic.

Norwood is running TV commercials dispelling that she is a Republican.

The candidates will face each other in a debate on Atlanta’s WSB Television station on Sunday.