Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin endorses Mary Norwood

- The current mayor of Atlanta has selected one candidate to succeed him. But Monday, the one he did not choose, Mary Norwood, now has the backing of former mayor Shirley Franklin.

Franklin ran Atlanta for two terms before Kasim Reed rose to the helm. Reed is squarely behind Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Norwood met with the media flanked by Ms. Franklin, Peter Aman, and Ceasar Mitchell, who announced his intention to support Norwood last week.

The picture of the diverse individuals walking side-by-side is one of the images the second-place finisher is trying to foster as she tries to break the hold black politicians have had on the top job at City Hall since the 1970s.

Franklin said in the current climate, race "is not the first issue" she looked at in sizing up the two candidates. She said she likes Norwood's character, integrity, and her connection to all neighborhoods and groups.

"Mary won't need a google map to find any neighborhood in the city," Franklin said.

The announcement came on the same day early voting began for the runoff election.

RELATED: Early voting begins in Fulton, DeKalb counties

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