Atlanta mayoral candidate demands recount after close loss

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"For all the little girls out there, who need somebody to believe that you're better than your circumstances, I want you all to remember that Black Girl Magic is real", Bottoms said.

Because neither of them had the majority of the vote, under Atlanta's rules, the top two candidates then entered a runoff election, running a much tighter and more heated race than the general election, which saw a candidate field of 11 candidates.

"It's not over yet", Norwood told supporters, noting that she trailed Bottoms by just 759 votes.

Although Bottoms did declare victory, the margin was narrow enough for Norwood, her opponent fighting to become Atlanta's first white mayor in more than 40 years, to ask for a recount.

"It's not over yet", Norwood said.

"Bottoms, who is black, faced Norwood, who is white".

"I don't expect there will be any change following the recount", Bottoms said.

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A half-century after white flight led to sprawl that fueled legendary traffic jams, Atlanta is booming economically and growing at a breakneck pace, with townhouses and apartments going up in vacant lots all over town. Norwood, in the final debate on Sunday, sought to cast Reed's support as a negative, tying Bottoms to the controversial aspects of Reed's tenure, including a reported bribery investigation into Atlanta City Hall. She identifies as an independent. The city hasn't had a female mayor since 2010.

"You are right. It's not over yet", she said.

Norwood also got endorsements from several of her former competitors, and state senator Vincent Fort - the unsuccessful candidate backed by independent Sen.

Bottoms counts the backing of major Georgia Democrats like former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a civil rights icon and former United Nations ambassador.

"Bottoms, who is black and the chosen successor of Reed, is widely seen as a continuation of the black political machine that has dominated Atlanta politics since the mid-1970s".

"Bottoms, a Democrat, would continue the party's lock on the mayor's office going back to 1879".

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