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Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 11:50am

ATL Mayoral Run-off: No Reed, No Debate

Candidates in the Atlanta mayoral run-off were back on the trail Wednesday, but only one of them made it to a debate put on by a major economic driver in the city — the hospitality industry.

Front-runner Mary Norwood showed up. Kasim Reed didn't. His campaign manager cited scheduling conflicts, but Ron Fennel a hospitality industry head presiding over the event at the Omni hotel downtown showed little sympathy.

"But let me tell you when someone tells you they will be there, they look you in the eye and tell you and they show up, you can trust them," says Fennell. "Mary Norwood told me that and she's here. You can trust her."

Without Reed, no debate ensued. So Norwood used the opportunity to assure the hotel industry that public safety — key to luring hotel clients to the state — is a top issue for her, as well as fixing the city's finances.

Both Norwood and Reed have their campaign finances in order. Each of them have already raised over $100,000 to get their supporters back to polls in the run-off election December 1.

In the final count Tuesday, Norwood lead with 46 percent of the vote. If she wins the run-off, she'd become the first white mayor of Atlanta in over 30 years.

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