The City of Atlanta’s next mayor will for certain be a woman if returns for the general elections hold steady. Results for the Atlanta Mayor’s race trickled in tonight with frontrunners Mary Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms maintaining their positions ahead of the pack.

Bottoms, who was endorsed by current Mayor Kasim Reed, took an early lead, securing around 33 percent of the vote as of 9:37 p.m. with partial reporting from precincts. Mary Norwood, who had been favored as frontrunner throughout the campaign was in second place with 17 percent of the vote while former City Council President Cathy Woolard was close behind with 14 percent.

Around 10:30 p.m., Bottoms’s percentage jumped to around 35 percent, with Norwood at 16 percent and current City Council President Ceasar Mitchell’s percentage jumping ahead of Woolard for third place at 12.58 percent.

Mary Norwood sent her supporters home early saying it would be a long night. “I am very hopeful, I am very excited. And I am looking forward to being your next mayor,” she told supporters who gathered at her election watch party, hosted at 103 West Restaurant in Buckhead.

Norwood, who shared a joke about knowing that members of the press would be sticking around, sent home her supporters around 9:30 p.m., saying, “Stay tuned. But if you want to head on out, I certainly understand. Thank you for being here. What a great show of support!”

Before ending her address, Norwood reminded her supporters that the runoff elections would be held on Dec. 5. She also promised, “Mary will, once again, be everywhere…”

By 10:45 p.m., most of Norwood’s supporters had left the 103 West Restaurant. By 11 p.m., Norwood came back out and sent the remainder of her supporters home with only three percent of the vote being reported.

Meanwhile, at the Hyatt Regency on Peachtree Street downtown, supporters of Bottoms were partying in full swing, dancing along to music blaring from loudspeakers. Around 12:15 a.m., a quiet cast over the room as Bottoms took the stage to make her speech.

“This city is the beacon of this country. We set the tone for this country and we set the tone for this world,” Bottoms told supporters around 12:20 a.m. “I would not take becoming the 60th mayor of this city lightly. I thank you all.

“I want to thank my friend, Kasim Reed and I think that we should all give him a round of applause,” Bottoms said. “So far, he has led this city. I am honored that he saw fit to support me in this endeavor.”

She added, “Before we leave tonight, I’d like to thank my opponents. I’ll try to remember them all, there were so many.”

By midnight, with 73 percent of precincts reporting, Bottoms maintained a healthy lead with 28 percent. Norwood was not far behind with 21 percent of the vote.

Stan Washington and Dawn Montgomery-Greene contributed to this report.

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