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It's official: Kasim Reed clinches Atlanta mayoral race

December 10, 2009 |  1:25 pm

Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed

After a dramatically tense mayoral race, Kasim Reed, an attorney and former Georgia state senator, will continue the Atlanta status quo of African American mayors, after a recount Wednesday clinched Reed’s victory.

Reed was neck and neck with Mary Norwood, who was vying to become the first white mayor in the majority-black city in 35 years. She requested a recount after falling 715 votes short in the Dec. 1 balloting.

The election came at a time when ...

Atlanta has grown whiter and more gentrified, but it also hinged upon the Bible Belt city’s lesbian, gay and transgender vote. Atlanta has the third-largest percentage of gay, lesbian and bisexual residents among large U.S. cities -- about 12.8% of the population -- according to a 2006 report by UCLA's Williams Institute, which researches sexual orientation issues.

“I cannot recall a mayor’s race when there’s been so much attention placed on the gay and lesbian vote,” Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest gay rights group, told The Times in a Nov. 30 story.

Reed, 40, is slated to take office Jan. 4. 

-- Nicole Santa Cruz


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Photos: Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed. Credit: Associated Press