On the final weekend before the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, the time has come to pay less attention to the polls and scrutinize the meaning contained within final moves being made by Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.
Bottoms has a 9 a.m. Sunday GOTV event with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at her campaign headquarters at 2358 Cascade Road SW – a little something before church.
Then comes U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Cal., at 5 p.m. at the Park Tavern at Piedmont Park.
Both locations are defensive. The first is in southwest Atlanta, where Bottoms is strong -- she represents the area -- and will need muscular turnout on Tuesday. The second is in Midtown, which has become the fulcrum of Atlanta politics. Lose here and you might as well go home.
As the weekend broke, WSB-TV brought out a poll that showed Norwood leading and Democrats split between the two candidates. A radio ad launched by the Norwood campaign this weekend, featuring former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, appears to be intended to keep that schism alive. We’re told it’s getting extensive air time on black radio. Listen here:
A partial transcript of Franklin's remarks:
“I’ve endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor. Some people say that endorsement may hurt my legacy, because I’ve endorsed a white woman over a black woman. This election is about character, transparency, and integrity. Not race.
“I’ve worked for mayors Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young, supported Gov. Roy Barnes, and have always fought for civil rights. I am proud to stand with Ceasar Mitchell, Cathy Woolard, John Eaves, Peter Aman, the policemen, the firefighters, and city workers – all who endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor.
“We can’t stand by and do nothing about the corruption and pay-to-play politics at City Hall. We must stand together….”