Source sends recording of Mary Norwood; Candidate calls it 'a fake'

ATLANTA — Political sources sent Channel 2 Action News a recording in which Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood appears to say she asked the Republican party to call her an Independent so she could win elections.

Channel 2's Dave Huddleston talked with Norwood, who does not deny it's her voice in the recording. However, she said the recording is edited and sliced together to make her say something that isn't true.

“I called up the Republican party in Fulton County and asked if they could appoint me as an Independent,” Norwood can be heard saying.

The tape was sent to Channel 2 Action News one week before the runoff election.

“The thing is Atlanta is 8 percent Republican and 80 percent Democrat, so you can’t win if you are a Republican label,” Norwood can be heard saying on the tape.

Join Channel 2 Action News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Radio this Sunday at 5 p.m. for a LIVE debate between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.

Channel 2’s Justin Farmer will serve as the moderator. He and the panel will question the candidates about the most important issues to Atlanta voters.

WATCH the debate LIVE on Channel 2, WSBTV.com or on the official WSB-TV Facebook page, Sunday at 5 p.m.

Norwood has captured some key endorsements, including former Mayor Shirley Franklin and former candidates Peter Aman, John Eaves and Cathy Woolard.

Several unions, including Atlanta firefighters, police officers and the City Workers Union AFSCME have also backed Norwood.

“She embodies the spirit of integrity that is lacking in leadership today,” Eaves said.

Huddleston asked Norwood if she wanted to hear the tape, and she did not. Norwood said she knows it’s been inaccurately edited.

Norwood sent Channel 2 Action News a document that shows she's voted for Republicans and Democrats since 1996, leaning more toward the Democrats.

She insists the audio is fake.

“What I said that night was I’m an Independent. I’ve always been an Independent. I ran as an Independent, and I would do nothing to hurt that Independent status because that’s who I am,” Norwood said.

Norwood said she wants voters to look at her two decades of public service to know what’s she’s all about.

We reached out to Norwood’s opponent, Keisha Lance Bottoms, but have not heard back.

On Tuesday, Bottoms announced what she calls the most sweeping ethics and transparency reform package in Atlanta’s history.

“There will be no favoritism under my administration. There will be no backroom deals under my administration,” Bottoms said.

Bottoms, who made the announcement outside City Hall, promises an independent evaluation process to make sure city contracts are awarded based on merit only.

Earlier this year, two contractors pleaded guilty to bribing city officials in exchange for contracts.

Former Atlanta Procurement Director Adam Smith also pleaded guilty to receiving bribes for contracts.