Atlanta Mayoral Preview & Liveblog

Results: AP (GA) || Cedar Rapids Gazette

11:50 ET-Bottoms has a 759 vote lead with 100% of precincts counted. The margin is close enough however that she has not been declared the winner

11:15 ET-A huge vote dump in Atlanta puts Bottoms ahead 51-49 with 90% counted.

10:38 ET-Results for Atlanta are starting to come in-Norwood leads 52-48 with 13% of precincts counted.

10:00 ET- I’m going to cut bait on Atlanta as there is literally nothing coming in. If other mods are around later the post may be updated, otherwise check back for results in tomorrow’s roundup.

9:55 ET- And Cedar Rapids has been called for Hart.

9:50 ET- 38/45 in for Cedar Rapids, Hart is up to a 54-46 lead.

9:45 ET- Still basically zilch from Atlanta. In Cedar Rapids, Brad Hart (R) is leading Monica Vernon (D) 53-47 with 28/45 precincts in.

9:00 ET- Can’t find results yet but people are saying on twitter that Dean Tran (R) has picked up MA-SD-Worcester & Middlesex. In less exciting legislative news, Democrats have easily held PA-LD-133 and Good (D) has won the primary in FL-LD-72.

8:45 ET- Norwood has won the early vote in DeKalb, covering a little under half the white-liberal east side, 62-38.

7:00 ET- Polls have closed in Georgia.

Today there is an election for Mayor of Atlanta as well as for county executive in Fulton County, which covers most of the city. Plus there is a mayoral election in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a few legislative specials. Atlanta polls close at 7p ET and we will have a brief liveblog in this thread.

Atlanta Mayor: Atlanta’s mayoral race is the big contest today, and a highly competitive one. The city has a population of 475K, roughly 50% Black and 40% White, and a PVI of D+29. Atlanta has four major socioeconomic areas, which are conveniently clustered around the north, south, east, and west parts of the city. The northern part of the city is known as Buckhead, a wealthy urban to inner suburban neighborhood that has historically been the origin and piggybank of the Georgia GOP, though it has been trending left recently. The eastern part of the city, which includes the downtown area, is a historically-black area that has become gentrified in recent years and is now largely upscale liberal whites. The western part of the city is overwhelmingly black and largely poor, though it does have some middle-class areas near the western edge. Finally, the southern part of the city is also overwhelmingly black, but more middle-class, though it does have some poor areas closer to downtown. Councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) came in first in the preliminary round with 27% and was initially thought the clear favorite in the runoff. Lance-Bottoms is a mainstream black establishment liberal, and she came in surprisingly strong in the primary despite a highly fractured field with many ideologically-similar candidates. In particular, she was dramatically boosted by the endorsement of outgoing incumbent Kasim Reed (D) and the support of his network, which allowed her to dominate the first-round vote on the south and west sides. In the runoff, she has casting herself as the true Democrat in the race and the champion of the city’s black vote, a playbook that worked for Reed 8 years ago, and she has like Reed received strong state and national Dem establishment support. Lance-Bottoms’s runoff opponent is the same as Reed’s was, councilwoman and 2009 candidate Mary Norwood (I). Norwood lost the 2009 runoff to Reed in a squeaker by 714 votes. That 2009 campaign featured extensive campaigning from the state Democratic party on Reed’s behalf, casting the white Norwood as a closet Republican. That characterization is sincerely overblown; to the extent Norwood’s ideology can be identified, it’s probably best described as Bloombergish pro-business centrism. But directly opposite Bloomberg, Norwood is unapologetically small-ball in focus, eschewing major initiatives of any type in favor of a focus on local and neighborhood concerns. In a city where right-of-center candidates don’t have any real shot, that means Norwood is a natural fit for the city’s GOP minority and upscale Buckhead residents. But she came in second in November with a somewhat weaker than expected 21%, and there weren’t obvious reservoirs of Norwood voters among the eliminated candidates, who were generally more liberal. Thus, Lance-Bottoms had been pegged as a very strong favorite. However, Norwood’s campaign has had a very good few weeks since the primary. While Lance-Bottoms has been endorsed by just one of the six eliminated candidates (who got 4%), Norwood has picked up three major endorsements: from white liberals Cathy Woolard (D) and Peter Aman (D) and black mainstream liberal city council president Caesar Mitchell (D). Their three vote shares together total 37% in addition to Norwood’s own 21%. Norwood also got an important endorsement from black 2000s-era ex-Mayor Shirley Franklin (D). It seems as though Lance-Bottoms’s ties to Reed are proving a double-edged sword, as the runoff has pushed many anti-Reed Democrats out of the woodwork and into the Norwood camp. To pull the upset, Norwood will likely need white liberals on the east side to move to her, and some crossover appeal from middle-class blacks; the Woolard, Aman, and Mitchell endorsements suggest that route is significantly more viable than it seemed just a couple weeks ago. Polls have been very close and it now seems like either could win.

Fulton, GA-CE: The other big election is also in the Atlanta area, for the Fulton County Exec post. Fulton County is an oddly-shaped snake that covers almost all of the city of Atlanta (except a small part of the east side) as well as two large chunks of suburbs in the north-central and southwest parts of the metro. It has a black plurality and a PVI of D+19. Two Dems are contesting the runoff. The slight front-runner looks like ex-county commissioner and 2014 CE candidate Robb Pitts (D). A longtime local pol, Pitts, who is black, served on the Atlanta council before losing a 2001 mayoral bid. He then won a swingy white-majority commission seat and held it through several competitive races. Pitts is a somewhat moderate liberal with mavericky tendencies; he has habitually voted against county budgets on the commission. Pitts’s intraparty rival is State Rep. Keisha Waites (D). Waites is also a mainstream liberal with some moderate tendencies. Her main difference with Pitts is generally style, as she is a much more easygoing type of pol. Pitts led the first round 38-34 with the remainder of the vote going to a Republican, so he looks like a very slight favorite in the second round; however, Waites could easily surprise.

Cedar Rapids, IA-Mayor: I’ll also say a few words about the mayoral runoff in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second largest city, is smaller city than we normally cover (130K), but today’s race is interesting enough to mention. The city, which is 90% white and has an agribusiness-based economy, has a PVI of D+10. The Mayor’s seat is open as incumbent Ron Corbett (R) is running for Governor, and today there is a D vs. R runoff. Councilwoman and 2016 IA-1 nominee Monica Vernon (D) led the 8-way first round in November with 30%. She is squaring off against attorney Brad Hart (R), who took 20%, taking second place by just 64 votes. Both Vernon and Hart are attempting to run as moderates; the race is hotly contested and could go either way. Because of the lean of the city and energized D base I would call Vernon a slight favorite, but Hart has strong establishment support and could prevail as well.

Today is also a busy day for legislative specials, with eight seats up in five states, a trio of generals in California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, a primary in Florida, and four D-on-D runoffs in Georgia.
CA-LD-51 is a D+36 seat covering the northeast part of LA proper, including the middle-class Hispanic Eagle Rock and Mount Washington areas, along with some poorer heavily Hispanic areas around Dodger Stadium and the monolithically Hispanic slumburb of East LA. This is the seat vacated by now-US Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D). 2017 CA-34 candidate Wendy Carillo (D) is the front-runner. Carillo got some buzz for her story of being a former illegal immigrant, and has some far-left support in this race. She led the first round 22-19 over 2012 candidate and zoning board member Luis Lopez (D), who took 40% in the 2012 general against Gomez. Both candidates have significant establishment support, but the fault lines are somewhat interesting. Carillo’s backing seems to come from unions (she got a key early endorsement from the SEIU) and the network around State Senate Pres. Kevin DeLeon (D), who represents the area. Carillo secured big endorsements from DeLeon and Gomez. Lopez’s backing, conversely, seems to come from the more socially-liberal and moderate elements in the party, including several LA city councilors and social liberal groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. As Carillo’s side of the party would seem to be stronger in this poor, heavily Hispanic district, I’d peg her as a slight favorite, but Lopez could surprise, especially if white turnout is high.
MA-SD-Worcester & Middlesex is a D+3 seat around Fitchburg and Leominster along with some nearby exurban and rural areas. Leominster councilwoman Sue Chalifoux-Zephir (D), an establishment liberal, looks like a moderate favorite over Fitchburg councilman Dean Tran (R), who narrowly lost a House special in 2016, and a credible centrist Indie in Leominster councilwoman Claire Freda (I), though an upset by either Tran or Freda is within the realm of possibility.
PA-LD-133 is a D+4 seat covering inner suburbs immediately north and east of Allentown as well as the western (Lehigh County) part of Bethlehem. Jeanne McNeill (D), widow of the prior incumbent, is the strong favorite over perennial candidate David Molony (R), who was the nominee for this seat in the last 4 general elections.
FL-LD-72 is the lone primary, for an R+3 seat covering eastern Sarasota proper and most of its suburbs. Attorney Margaret Good (D) has the strongest establishment support and looks like a moderate favorite over businesswoman Ruta Jounari (D), who is attempting to run to the left on a BernieBro platform. The winner will face James Buchanan (R), not the President but the son of Rep. Vern (R), in a competitive February general.
GA-SD-6 is a formerly R-held D+7 seat (though Romney carried it) covering the wealthy Buckhead neighborhood of northern Atlanta and parts of the mostly-upscale suburbs of Sandy Springs to the north and Vinings and Smyrna to the west. The race is a guaranteed Dem pickup as five Republicans split the vote and allowed two Dems to advance. Attorney Jen Jordan (D) has the strongest Dem establishment support, including endorsements from Daily Kos and Jon Ossoff, and took first place in November with 24%. She faces dentist and 2016 nominee Jaha Howard (D), who lost this seat by a much smaller than expected 4-point margin last year and took second with 22% in November. Howard is slightly more moderate and probably picks up a majority of the GOP vote, so he is probably the slight favorite in the runoff.
GA-SD-39 is a black-majority D+36 seat stretching an absurd bacon strip from upscale black-majority suburbs west of Hartsfield Airport (among the nation’s wealthiest black-majority areas) through poor urban ghettoes west of downtown Atlanta, and finishing in upscale white liberal areas of Buckhead. State Dem official Nikema Williams (D), a member of the GADP’s top leadership, led legislative staffer Linda Pritchett (D), who lost a State House primary by 60 votes in 2016, by a 35-32 margin in November. There is no clear favorite in the runoff.
GA-LD-60 is a D+42 seat covering black-majority inner suburban areas immediately east of Hartsfield airport. Nonprofit exec Kim Schofield (D) led charter school exec and former school board candidate Deandre Pickett (D) 36-35 in the first round; there is no clear favorite in the runoff.
GA-LD-89 is a D+43 seat covering the black-majority inner suburban southwest corner of DeKalb County near Gresham Park. Strangely enough, the runoff is between two Asian-American candidates. Nonprofit exec Bee Nguyen (D) surprisingly led the first round 40-34 over attorney Sachin Vargese (D), who had stronger  establishment support. I would peg Nguyen as a slight favorite.

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41 Comments

  • Boehnerwasright December 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Atlanta Mayor looks like a true toss up although I would guess Lance-Bottoms pulls it out in the end by a slim margin.

    • Indy1975a December 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      Fairly sure Norwood will win. Not as sure as I am with Roy Moore though.


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • Ryan_in_SEPA December 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Cedar Rapids Mayor is probably the second most interesting race after Atlanta Mayor tonight.


    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

  • roguemapper December 5, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    The LD-89 race is fairly interesting to me. Sachin Varghese has support from John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Roy Barnes, Jason Carter, and most of the GA Dem political establishment. Bee Nguyen has support from Emily’s List, the AFL-CIO, Georgia Equality, and several other progressive activist groups. I also think Nguyen is a slight favorite but this makes for a far more intriguing race than it would be otherwise. If this was a GOP race with a similar insider vs outsider divide I think that there’s little doubt that the outsider would win, so I’m curious to see how that dynamic plays out in a ~90% Dem majority AA district.


    Dem NC-11

    • shamlet December 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Hmm, that’s interesting. I didn’t realize the Emily’s list types were supporting Nguyen, so her strong November showing makes more sense. I knew about Vargese’s GA Dem establishment support so her finishing ahead of him was a big shock to me.


      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • Tekzilla December 5, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    My head tells me that Lance-Bottoms wins by 3 but my gut tells me Norwood wins by like 8, not sure how to square those lol.


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • StatenIslandTest December 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Jersey City Council runoffs today. Keep in Mind Mayor Fulop won with 78% and his council at large won almost that big in the first ever November Jersey City election. A Fulop ally outright won one ward seat plus the three at large, while a Fulop opponent in the Hispanic/Yuppie Heights district won reelection. Here are the remaining four wards:

    Ward A: Black-plurality ward in SW portion of city with two large condo communities, Society Hill and Port Liberte, as well as a few working-class White, Hispanic and Asian (mainly Fillipino enclaves). This is my ward. Fulop slate businesswoman Denise Ridley won the first out 41-23 over Joe Conte, a former JCDO chair who has challenged the current HCDO from the left, including a poorly-constructed primary against incumbent Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti in 2015. I predict a 56-44 Ridley win.

    Ward B: Similar to A in demographics further to north, but without large developments. Incumbent Chris Gadsden (Anti-Fulop) lost 49-38 to Mira Prinz-Arrey, a Fulop ally. If Prinz-Arrey wins this ward will have had 4 councilpeople in under 2 years following ex Councilman Chico Ramchal’s resignation. I predict a 53-47 Prinz-Arrey win.

    Ward C: Incumbent Richard Boggiano (Anti-Fulop) is basically a Blue Dog Democrat in a multi-ethnic redeveloping Ward in the city center around Journal Square. His challenger, pro-Fulop John Hanussak, trailed 42-28 percent on Election Day. I predict a Boggiano win of 54-46.

    Ward E: The marquee race in the affluent Waterfront/Downtown Ward with a white plurality features establishment liberal Attorney Rebecca Symes (Quasi-Fulop) against far-left Professor and Evict Trump-Kushner leader James Solomon. Both have coalesced their coalition vote, but I give Symes a 53-47 win tonight.


    32, Jersey City

  • Jon Henrik Gilhuus December 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Well, on my Norwegian elections site I have written that I think Mary Norwood has a slightly better change than Keisha Lance Bottoms tonight. I stand by that; I’m thinking 52-53% for Norwood.


    The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
    - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Jon Henrik Gilhuus December 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Results link for Georgia: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2017/by_state/GA_Page_1205.html?SITE=AP&SECTION=POLITICS


    The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
    - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Jon Henrik Gilhuus December 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    By county: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2017/by_county/GA_Page_1205.html?SITE=AP&SECTION=POLITICS


    The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
    - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Tekzilla December 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Norwood people seem very happy as the polls close. I think I’ll go with my gut, a Norwood win and it isn’t super close.


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • Indy1975a December 5, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      She will win. The swing voters in Atlanta are the east side (and other) white liberals who largely went for Woolard in the primary. They seem to be going strongly for Norwood (unlike in 2009), and Norwood isn’t seen as the closet R that she was perceived to be in 2009 (in part because Norwood’s campaign has been stronger to rebut those attacks this year). Also Norwood is seen to be really liberal on cultural issues (in 2009 Reed was actually to the right of Norwood on SSM, school vouchers, and got the endorsement of the police union.)


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • Jon Henrik Gilhuus December 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    AJC seems to have the numbers a wee bit faster than AP: http://www.ajc.com/atlanta-runoff-election-results/


    The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
    - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Tekzilla December 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This will probably get more eyeballs here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/trump-moore-republicans-chaos.html

    Interesting Times piece on how the GOP is prepping for the midterms, or the lack their of. Trump seems to be freezing a lot in place. This article to me sounds like it was pushed by NRSC, NRCC etc. types looking to get the ball rolling, but who knows.


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • andrew_1918 December 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    And in the final special election of the year, MassGOP finally gets its win – and flips the Middlesex and Worcester state senate seat. Republican Dean Tran has been elected to replace Sen. Jen Flanagan, the party tells me. #mapoli

    https://twitter.com/LaurenDezenski/status/938225148972470272

    • Greyhound December 5, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      This is a seat we’ve held before, yes? Still, not too bad. Good sign for NH-1 next year too.


      R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

      • cer December 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        Granted there was a fairly decent 3rd party candidate in this race that probably helped our cause, it was still nice to see a Republican pick up this seat.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

      • andrew_1918 December 5, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Clinton+8/Obama+6 district+”Incumbent Jennifer Flanagan (D) ran unopposed in the Massachusetts State Senate Worcester & Middlesex District general election”

        • Left Coast Libertarian December 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm

          Not contesting a winnable seat is the Massachusetts Republican Party I know. Contesting and winning one is shocking.

      • Carolingian December 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm

        This seat was last held by Republicans in 1992. At that time, Republicans amazingly had 16 seats in the state senate.


        21, NC-4, Ex-R

      • BostonPatriot December 5, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        That’s a fantastic pickup for the state GOP. It’s the type of turf that we win regularly in statewide elections but has evaded us at the local level, and should be trending right demographically.

    • Manhatlibertarian December 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      The Mass pickup is the first GOP legislative special election pickup victory outside of the South since November 2016. The GOP has picked up seats in Miss, La and Mass for a total of 3. But including the Ga runoff tonight, the Dems have picked up 14 state legislative seats in special elections since Nov 2016 -NY, Wash, Fla, Ga(3), Okla (4) and NH (4). So a net gain of 11 for the Dems so far. Note I am not including states that have regularly scheduled off year legislative elections like Va and NJ.

    • Merrimackman December 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      First time GOP has 7 Senate seats in Mass since 2004.

      https://twitter.com/PeterJasinski53
      With one small town out, Tran (R) with 46% and Zephir (D) with 43%


      R, RI-2

      • StatenIslandTest December 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

        Good news I suspect many seats like this in NJ will flip in 2019 :).


        32, Jersey City

    • Tekzilla December 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      What the heck happened here? Bad D candidate? Was the third party also a D?


      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • BostonPatriot December 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

        Third party was a D from the same city as the D nominee, and the R was from the other major city in the district.

        • Tekzilla December 5, 2017 at 11:20 pm

          Did the third party run for any particular reason though? Beef with the D nominee? D nominee too far left?

          Like is this something Ds can pick right back up or was it fairly normal?


          36/M/NY-01 (D)

          • Greyhound December 6, 2017 at 12:10 am

            This was the milder version of HI-1 in 2010 I’d say. Indy wanted her own shot and ran as a soft D, and the R had a good enough campaign that out-performed the top of the ticket enough to be able to exploit that split.

            This will be a top D target in the state when its up again, but the GOP could hold this seat for a while. Its not a guaranteed flip back like HI-1 was.


            R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

            • BostonPatriot December 6, 2017 at 12:52 am

              Yeah, that’s a good comparison. The district is light blue nationally but is one of the more conservative (less liberal?) parts of MA, and Republicans will have a good chance of holding it with Tran in 2018. The core of the district is Leominster and Fitchburg, two historically labor-D cities that have trended to the right and were carried by Brown and Baker. The balance of the district is light red, with a few D-leaning towns and a few more R-leaning towns. If Tran can continue to win his hometown of Fitchburg by double-digits, which he did tonight, he should hold the seat.

      • buckeyes95 December 5, 2017 at 10:47 pm

        The Indie was a Leominster councilwoman, same as the Dem and seems to be closer to a Democrat than a Republican, so she probably took more votes away from the Dem candidate.


        R in OH-12

        • GOPTarHeel December 5, 2017 at 10:54 pm

          The Republican outperformed Trump though I think


          R/NC. Waiting for a non-ossified establishment or sane populists. Not optimistic.

          • buckeyes95 December 5, 2017 at 11:52 pm

            Did better than Trump and almost exactly the same as Romney, looks like the return to 2012 numbers we’ve been seeing in a number of special elections that haven’t drawn much attention.


            R in OH-12

  • GOPTarHeel December 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Fulton County moving with characteristic speed tonight…


    R/NC. Waiting for a non-ossified establishment or sane populists. Not optimistic.

  • cer December 5, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Why in hell is GA voting so damn slow!? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • Jon December 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Fulton County (Atlanta) has always been as slow as molasses counting ballots. The rest of the state outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area counts ballots at a decent rate.
      There are many places like this; including within my own Missouri: Both St Louis City & County and Jackson County (KC).


      45, M, MO-02

  • Greyhound December 5, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Some of Atlanta is finally in, and it was 50/50. Norwood is up 700 votes with 14/159 in.


    R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

  • StatenIslandTest December 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    JC Results:

    http://www.hudsoncountyclerk.org/vipresults/results_19650.html

    I expected closer races. Very disappointed about Ward E. It is one thing to oppose President Trumps policies but having a councilman who supports evicting businesses because they are associated with the President in the economic heart of the city is troubling.

    At least another left of center gadfly (Conte) lost.


    32, Jersey City

  • MosheM December 5, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    AP: With 100% of precincts reporting in the #ATLMayor race, Keisha Lance Bottoms leads Mary Norwood, 50.4%-49.6% — a margin of 759 votes.

    You may recall Norwood narrowly lost the 2009 runoff to now-Mayor Kasim Reed by roughly the same margin: 714 votes. https://t.co/8T2Op3ujcW


    29, M, R, NY-10

  • Son_of_the_South December 6, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Well, it looks like Monica Vernon is out of luck again. Wah, wah, waaaah


    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • Ryan_in_SEPA December 6, 2017 at 6:43 am

    The Republicans retaining Cedar Rapids is a good sign.


    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

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