ATLANTA - A defeated candidate for Atlanta Mayor endorsed fellow City Council member Mary Norwood Tuesday in the December mayoral runoff, a move sparking the current mayor to call both of them “losers.”
City Council President Ceaser Mitchell announced his endorsement of Norwood over another City Council member, Keisha Lance Bottoms, at a news conference outside of Atlanta City Hall.
The endorsement surprised many political observers with Mitchell who is African American endorsing a white candidate instead of an African American candidate.
At the news conference, Mitchell said he thought long and hard as a black man about supporting Norwood.
Earlier in the day when he was asked about the Mitchell endorsement, outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed referred to Mitchell and Norwood as “one man, one woman, 2 losers.”
At her news conference, Norwood said Mayor Reed should apologize and is demeaning the office with his comments.
Reed has endorsed and actively campaigned for Bottoms during the campaign.
He also openly blasted Mitchell after the Council President proposed a policy change in August where Reed would not handle or approve new contracts unless they were emergencies, in response to an on-going federal investigation of alleged City Hall corruption.
Reed responded at that time by questioning the manhood of Mitchell, and said “I’ve never seen a grown man complain about another grown man being a bully.”
Mitchell fired back by calling Reed “petty” and said “If Mr. Reed think he can intimidate me… he is sadly mistaken.”
Norwood finished second to Bottoms in the November 7 to qualify for a December 5 runoff. Bottoms picked up 26 percent of the vote, with Norwood getting 21 percent.
Mitchell finished in sixth place in the 11 candidate field with 9 percent of the vote.
If elected, Norwood would become Atlanta’s first white mayor since 1973.