ATLANTA — Today is the day that the city of Atlanta will choose its next mayor.
Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood are facing off in Tuesday’s runoff election.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. in the city.
Both Bottoms and Norwood voted Tuesday morning with loved ones by their side.
“Whether it’s Senator Harris or Senator Booker saying they support me or Ambassador Young, who will get out and vote today, at the end of the day, it’s about the people of Atlanta,” Bottoms said.
“I am very honored and humbled to have the support of five of my former competitors and two former mayors,” Norwood said.
After voting, both candidates spoke about what some have characterized as a nasty and heated end to the campaigns.
"I think history will judge on how this election was conducted, how this campaign was conducted. What I’m looking forward to today is a good election. I want everyone to vote," Norwood said.
“I think the ugliness of politics has really reared its head. I think probably the most disappointing thing has been that people aren’t really judging this race on the merits of the candidates but on many personal vendettas," Bottoms said. "This has not been an easy journey at all, but doing hard things is hard, so this is really about the future of our city, and what I want this city to be for all the children.”
The two Atlanta City Councilwomen beat out 10 other candidates on Nov. 7.
Bottoms took 26 percent of the vote and Norwood took 21 percent. They were followed by Cathy Woolard with 17 percent, Peter Aman with 11 percent and Vincent Fort with 10 percent.
Since that day, Woolard and Aman have thrown their support behind Mary Norwood. Fort didn’t endorse either candidate, telling his supporters to vote their conscience. Current Mayor Kasim Reed has endorsed Bottoms.
Just days before the election, our exclusive WSB-TV, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Landmark Communications poll showed Norwood with a 6-point lead, and less than 4 percent of voters undecided -- a big swing from where the polls stood nearly a month ago.
On Sunday, Norwood and Bottoms faced off in a debate on Channel 2 Action News. They were asked about a range of topics, from police pay to city contracts to potholes. You can read a minute-by-minute recap of that debate here.
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