ATLANTA — An Atlanta councilwoman could become the city’s first white mayor in a generation, facing off against a black state senator in a runoff next month.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting early Wednesday, Mary Norwood received 45 percent of the vote, compared to Sen. Kasim Reed at 38 percent. City Council president Lisa Borders was a distant third with 14 percent and conceded early Tuesday.

Norwood did not get 50 percent of the vote plus one to avoid a runoff. Election officials estimated voter turnout could be at its lowest in recent memory, with far fewer ballots cast than the 35 percent of registered voters who participated in recent mayoral races.

Norwood, Reed and Borders were the front-runners in the crowded field for much of the campaign and battled for weeks over public safety and open government, as the issue of race loomed over the contest. Political observers say the race will continue to polarize voters along racial lines in the weeks before an anticipated Dec. 1 runoff.

Rome News Tribune