Mary Norwood got up before dawn on Tuesday morning to begin campaigning. She was looking for those votes she needed to carry her over the 50 percent she needed to avoid a run-off.
Kasim Reed woke up hoping turnout in Atlanta’s mayoral race would top 40 percent, a number he believed was critical if he was going to have a shot at a run-off.
Norwood didn’t get the 50 percent she needed, nor did Reed get the 40 percent he needed. Still, Reed got the better deal, as the former State Senator is headed to a run-off with the Atlanta City Councilwoman.
In his election night speech, Reed told supporters “I do not fear. I serve and believe in an awesome God, and am ready for the next 27 days.” As he has in previous campaign speeches, Reed evoked biblical messages, delivered in an evangelical tone.
“And when those 27 days are done, we will move forward, united. We will run a campaign that unites this city,” Reed said. And before taking a breath, he finished by saying, “And for all of the pundits who said, ‘Kasim Reed is only going to get votes in Southwest Atlanta,’ go check the numbers, baby. We got votes citywide!”
For her part, Norwood was also calling for unity. She told her supporters their hard work and dedication helped top her opponents. Her victory party, at the Varsity in downtown Atlanta, was packed with residents from all over the city. Norwood called on the diverse group to continue working hard so they could win in December and also build a united Atlanta.
“An Atlanta that works for everybody, an Atlanta where every community is respected. Every community is appreciated. And every community contributes to this town. That has been our campaign. That will continue to be our campaign,” Norwood told supporters.
Norwood ended with about 45 percent of the vote, while Reed got 37 percent. City Council President Lisa Borders, once considered to be a front runner, finished a distant third.