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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So, who's the next Atlanta mayor?

Well, it's the morning after, and Atlanta still doesn't know who to call "mayor-elect."

But Kasim Reed says even if all outstanding ballots were in favor of opponent Mary Norwood, he'd still be the victor in what was a grueling and tight contest. This morning Reed said his administration's first order of business is to find a new top cop that will fill the shoes of Chief Richard Pennington.

Norwood, who according to unofficial election results is within a razor-thin margin of Reed, has yet to concede defeat. After last night's campaign party at the Varsity, a Norwood spokeswoman said they'd wait for all votes to be counted before they asked for a recount. Considering the number of votes that separate the two candidates, Norwood would have a right to request another look at the results.

Ceasar Mitchell trumped Clair Muller to become the next Atlanta City Council president. Aaron Watson defeated Amir Farokhi to claim Norwood's Post 2 At-Large seat. And Alex Wan bested Liz Coyle in the race to represent District 6. Watson and Wan will join several new councilmembers, including Yolanda Adrean in District 8, Keisha Lance Bottoms in District 11 and returning councilmember Michael Julian Bond in the Post 1 At-Large seat.

Come January, City Hall will also say farewell to councilmembers who tried to run for another seat or are retiring. Council President Lisa Borders, who failed to garner enough votes on Nov. 3 to make the Atlanta mayoral runoff, will make way for Mitchell. Muller says she'll remain active in city and regional politics, particularly on transportation and water issues. Councilmembers Anne Fauver and Jim Maddox are stepping down. And Norwood...well, we still don't know if she's officially lost yet.

We'll have much more throughout the day. In the meantime, stay warm, stay dry and recover from a night that was mired with confusing election results and an ample supply of drama. If you missed the madness, take a look at CL's coverage — and Andisheh Nouraee's tweets.

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