2 women advance to runoff in Atlanta’s mayoral race

November 8, 2017

A voter casts a ballot next to a mural of a tennis player at a polling site in a school gymnasium in Atlanta, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Voters electing a new mayor for Atlanta and filling a handful of vacancies in the Georgia Legislature will find no shortage of choices on the ballot. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP) — Two women have emerged from a crowded field in Atlanta’s mayoral race, and will now face each other in a runoff election next month.

Voters across the state were also choosing how to fill several vacancies in the Georgia Legislature, with the outcome of some races going late into the night and even into the pre-dawn hours Wednesday.

Nearly a dozen candidates competed to succeed term-limited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Also on ballots were 34 candidates for nine seats in the state House and Senate that came open after incumbent lawmakers around the state decided not to finish the final year of their terms.

For any race in which no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will return for a Dec. 5 runoff election.

Here’s a look at the races.



Two Atlanta city councilwomen, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, are the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s Atlanta mayoral race and are now headed to a runoff.

Bottoms had about 27 percent of the vote to Norwood’s 21 percent, according to unofficial election results early Wednesday morning.

It won’t be the first time Atlanta voters choose a female mayor: Shirley Franklin served two terms after winning the office in 2001.

The race drew a slew of candidates seeking one of the highest profile local offices in Southern politics.

Two-term Mayor Kasim Reed will leave his successor with a thicket of challenges facing Georgia’s capital city. Among them are traffic-clogged highways showing no sign of easing and a lack of affordable housing in a city where rents and home prices have soared. The new mayor also inherits Atlanta’s aggressive effort to lure Amazon’s coveted second headquarters, with a decision expected next year.



Two metro Atlanta seats in the state Senate were up for grabs after their incumbents stepped down to seek higher office.

Two candidates are heading to a runoff in metro Atlanta for a state Senate seat left open when Republican Hunter Hill left the chamber to run for governor. Democrats Jen Jordan and Jaha Howard were the top vote-getters in a seven-way race Tuesday, but neither won more than 50 percent of the vote as required to avoid a runoff.

In the nearby 39th District, two Atlanta Democrats will face off in a runoff to decide who fills the state Senate seat of Democrat Vincent Fort, who stepped down to run for Atlanta mayor. Nikema Williams and Linda Pritchett were the top finishers Tuesday in a four-way face for the 39th Senate District in Fulton County.



Seven members of the Georgia House resigned with one year remaining in their terms, and their vacant seats were on the ballot.

Whitfield County voters in northwest Georgia chose Republican Kasey Carpenter to replace Republican Rep. Bruce Broadrick of Dalton, who stepped down citing failing health. Carpenter beat two GOP candidates and a Democrat for the 4th District seat.

In Atlanta’s northern suburbs, Forsyth County voters elected Republican Marc Morris to take the place of Republican Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming in the state House. Duncan stepped down from his 26th District seat in August to focus on his 2018 campaign for lieutenant governor.

In DeKalb County, two Democrats will face off in runoff election for a state House seat left vacant by Rep. Stacey Abrams, an Atlanta Democrat who is leaving the legislature to run for governor. Bee Nguyen and Sachin Varghese were the top two finishers Tuesday for the 89th District seat.

Two metro Atlanta Democrats will meet in a runoff election to fill a vacant seat in the state House. Democrats Kim Schofield and De’Andre Pickett were the top two finishers Tuesday in a race to fill the vacant 60th District seat in Fulton and Clayton counties. Democratic Rep. Keisha Waites of Atlanta resigned from the district in September to run in Tuesday’s election for chairman of the Fulton County Commission.

Voters in northeast Georgia’s 117th District got a straight-up Republican vs. Democrat contest after GOP Rep. Regina Quick of Athens was appointed to a judgeship. Democrat Deborah Gonzalez, an attorney, defeated GOP consultant Houston Gaines for the seat.

Democrat Jonathan Wallace won election in northeast Georgia to an open seat in the 119th House District. The seat was vacated by Republican Rep. Chuck Williams of Watkinsville in August after Gov. Nathen Deal appointed him to head the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Democrats will retain control of a metro Atlanta seat in the state House that was vacated by a lawmaker who’s running for governor. Smyrna consultant Teri Anulewicz was the only candidate on the ballot in the special election in Cobb County for the 42nd District House seat. She will succeed former Democratic Rep. Stacey Evans of Smyrna, who gave up her seat to devote more time to her 2018 campaign for governor.


Associated Press Writers Kate Brumback in Atlanta and Russ Bynum in Savannah contributed.

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