ATLANTA – Voters will return to the polls Tuesday to select a new mayor.
Councilwoman Mary Norwood and former state Sen. Kasim Reed face off after neither candidate garnered 50 percent of the vote during the Nov. 3 election – the magic number needed to avoid a run-off.
“The most accurate prediction possible about the dead-even Atlanta mayoral runoff on December 1 is that the candidate who does the better job of getting supporters from the first round in November back to the polls will win,” political scientist Charles Bullock wrote in an article on Insider Advantage Georgia. “Often the drop off in participation at a runoff is so dramatic that neither candidate manages to equal the number of votes received in the initial balloting.”
Norwood and Reed have been sparring back and forth for weeks.
“I have been fighting for change, fighting against bureaucracy and fighting for people in neighborhoods in our city for years,” Norwood said during her closing statement during a recent Atlanta Press Club debate.
The city is in “a tough situation right now – some have even called it a crisis,” Reed said during the same Atlanta Press Club debate. “I have a record, not rhetoric.”
In addition to mayor, the city council president and two council seats are up for grabs. Some experts predict less than 20 percent of voters will turn out to cast ballots.