ATLANTA, GA – Ballot boxes are closed in Tuesday's second-round election in which voters elected the second mayor in the history of the county's southern capital.
On a rainy day in Atlanta, participation in the race was slight following outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed among City Council members Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.
Bottoms, a Democrat and political ally of Reed, was the best voter in the November 7 general election, taking more than 27 percent of the vote in a field of 10 active candidates. In second place was General Council member Norwood, an independent who took almost 22 percent.
In Georgia, a second round is held between the two main candidates if no one receives more than 50 percent of the vote.  In the latest surveys, Norwood led the funds in several percentage points. The race is technically independent, but Bottoms identifies himself as a Democrat, while Norwood calls himself independent.
Bottoms and Norwood both vote on Tuesday morning before leaving for the campaign for the rest of the day. No major problems were reported at polling places during the day.
In predominantly democratic Atlanta, where the only Republican mayor was elected in 1877, other candidates have tried to turn Norwood into a member of the GOP that could undo the achievements of the city's well-established democratic machine.
Norwood, who led the majority of the polls until the last round, saw the emergence of Bottoms, meanwhile, presenting herself as an independent leader who has spent the past two decades working for her constituents and neighborhoods. She narrowly lost to Reed in 2009, falling a little over 700 votes in a second round.
Bottoms, meanwhile, has been endorsed by Reed, with whom she is a political ally for a long time. He has highlighted his work in the council on issues such as pension reform, the reopening of recreation centers in the city and support for equal pay for women working for the city.
In "The city too busy to hate", there is also a racial component to the race. If elected, Norwood would become Atlanta's first white mayor in more than four decades. Maynard Jackson, whose name is part of the nickname of the busiest airport in the city, was elected Atlanta's first black mayor in 1974.
Bottoms, 47, holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Florida A & M University and a bachelor's degree in law from Georgia State University. She was a judge and served as director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority before joining the council.
Norwood, 65, earned a bachelor's degree from Emory University and is a former media executive. She serves as a member of the council in general.
Patch will update this story with the race results as they become available on Tuesday night.
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