Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mary Norwood reflects on runoff loss

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 6:45 PM


Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who came within 715 votes of being Atlanta's first white mayor in three decades, has found a friendly ear for whom she could unburden her thoughts at having lost the Dec. 1 runoff to now-Mayor-elect Kasim Reed.

"We came so close to winning and we lost. It just breaks my heart," Norwood admits in a lengthy sit-down with Matthew Cardinale, aka Atlanta Progressive News. "I took on the entire political establishment. You know what that's like; you've tried to take 'em on."

Because it's probably the only place you're going to see her talk openly about such matters, here are some other tidbits from her interview:

  • Norwood plans to launch a "citywide coalition of people that care tremendously about the city." It's not clear whether she's talking about a political interest group or an insurgency.
  • The second front in the battle for the mayor's office was waged in the comments sections of local blogs (like the one you're reading now!). "They [Reed's campaign] had an amazing group of people representing their group on the blogs every day," Norwood says.
  • Shockingly, political fundraising is a bitch. "I literally had to make thousands and thousands of phone calls. I was on the phone over a year nonstop asking for money," Norwood explains.
  • Norwood concedes that her "I'm not a Republican" TV ad — which most pundits cite as her biggest gaffe — may have alienated some of her core supporters. "The campaign made the decisions they made. And what we know is that I was portrayed in a light that was not flattering and not accurate and I responded to that," she says. "Did I lose some votes? Probably, but I came in first place" in the general election.

For the time being, Norwood is busy cleaning out her Council offices. For someone who constantly complained she was denied access to city documents, Norwood claims to have a surprisingly sizable repository of ephemera:

"I'm packing up boxes and boxes of knowledge so I don't lose the institutional knowledge and work at City Hall. We've got 16 file drawers full of information. Those will be boxed up and stored. When we start the organization, it will be a great repository of knowledge and information for citizen."

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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