ATLANTA - A candidate for mayor says she has always wondered if the current mayor of Atlanta won his seat fair and square.
Mary Norwood lost to current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009.
Make sure to tune in to WSB-TV as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood go head-to-head in a live runoff debate moderated by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer, LIVE on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.
Norwood told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston that she never spoke publicly about the accusation because what she said she knew what happened wasn't significant enough to upset the entire system.
But our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a copy of a transcript of a private June meeting where she brought up the 2009 election.
"I just want you to be who you say you are, live where you say you live and vote once," Norwood told Huddleston.
Norwood raised concerns about the 2009 election, which she lost to Reed by a couple of hundred votes.
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She told Huddleston that she always suspected there was voter fraud.
"I know there are instances where individuals were asked to vote in the election," Norwood said.
She said individuals who didn’t live in Atlanta still voted in the mayor's race.
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Norwood said she's never talked publicly about the accusation, but privately has mentioned it to several groups, including last June, at a meeting that was recorded and leaked to the AJC.
"I have spoken privately to many groups, including last night to the NAACP, about the fact that I did not go public with some things I was concerned about with that election," Norwood said.
ATLANTA MAYOR QUICK FACTS
- The city’s last five mayors have been African-American
- The last 27 have been Democrats
- There have only ever been two Republican mayors of Atlanta
- Shirley Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta. The next mayor will be the second
- Only four former Atlanta mayors were born in Atlanta
- Click here for more facts about Atlanta mayors
Huddleston contacted Reed for a comment on this story Wednesday. His spokesperson responded and said in part:
“If Mary Norwood had proof that the election results were invalid in 2009, she should have stepped forward and challenged the results then. She did not because she could not. She has no evidence to back up her claims. She has been a public official for the past four years and never raised any concerns about the integrity of our voting system."
Norwood said after the 2009 race, she joined the Fulton County Elections Board to get a new director on staff.
She told Huddleston that she's confident the Dec. 5 mayor's race will be fair, accurate and impartial.