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Keisha Lance Bottoms Elected Atlanta's Next Mayor | @KeishaBottoms #BlackGirlMagic

Keisha Lance Bottoms Elected Atlanta's Next Mayor | @KeishaBottoms #BlackGirlMagic

Norwood, who trails behind front-runner Keisha Lance Bottoms by just 759 votes after Tuesday's election, was bested by current mayor Kasim Reed in a 2009 runoff by only 714 votes. Norwood calls herself an independent and Bottoms is Reed's chosen successor.

Bottoms spoke early Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel, saying near the end of her speech that "I am just in awe of what God is able to do".

Both women are Atlanta City Council members. Norwood has since requested a recount, claiming that the margin was too small to call.

Norwood cited an unofficial count in her address to supporters, and said while she was behind in votes, she was waiting for further updates on the vote total later in the week.

Political analysts have said African-American voters will ultimately determine the outcome, but numerous city's most formidable challenges transcend race.

"In the eastern part of Atlanta you see a good deal of gentrification going on, and you see a mix of precincts - some for Norwood and some for Bottoms", Boone said.

"We just don't know", she said.

A Norwood victory would mean Atlanta - a gentrifying city where the African American share of the population remains a majority but has gone down over the years - would have its first white mayor in more than 40 years.

In that runoff, Atlantans cast more than 83,000 ballots in the runoff election. "The only place I've seen them change is paper ballots", said director Richard Barron. Regardless of who wins, Atlanta will have its second female mayor, following Franklin who left office in 2010.