In 2009, Mary Norwood fell 700 votes short of defeating Kasim Reed to become Atlanta mayor. Now she’s ready to take another crack at it. Norwood filed paperwork Wednesday morning to start raising money for the 2017 election to succeed Reed, who is up against term limits.
“Today I’m taking the first step in becoming your next Mayor. I’m following the law and filing to accept contributions. Over the next several weeks, I will continue to be in communities throughout our city with Atlantans from every part of our great city,” she said in a statement sent to the Georgia Voice. “I am running for Mayor of Atlanta to give all Atlantans a responsible, transparent and accountable government that will ensure that we have a safe city, a sustainable city and a prosperous city for ALL of our citizens. With over 25 years of citywide service, I have a unique understanding of our city’s communities–their issues, needs, and aspirations. As this city’s next Mayor, I will make certain that every community in this great city has the quality of life they deserve. Your issues will be my issues and they will be addressed so that our city will be safe and you will have the accountability that you desire and expect from your city government.”
Norwood, who was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 2013 (a second time), joins a crowded field of candidates that includes Atlanta lesbian pioneer Cathy Woolard.
Norwood is a fixture on the Atlanta LGBT scene, whether it’s appearing at a local vigil for victims of the Pulse shooting, proposing and passing a resolution against the anti-LGBT so-called “religious freedom” bill HB757, helping Lost-n-Found Youth get permits for a shelter they were pursuing at the time, being there to help Georgia Equality celebrate their 20th birthday, or being a longtime supporter of marriage equality.
She is running as an independent, although her competitors in previous races have called that into question and accused her of being a Republican—a tactic that her 2013 campaign treasurer, Jamie Ensley, didn’t take kindly to, condemning her then-competition Aaron Watson and the Democratic Party of Georgia. Ensley, the chairman of the National Log Cabin Republicans, is Norwood’s campaign manager for her mayoral run.