Atlanta will elect only its second female mayor in history on Dec. 5, when voters choose between city councilpersons Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood in the mayoral runoff.
Lance Bottoms and Norwood, both of whom sit on the Atlanta city council, finished first and second, respectively, in Tuesday’s election, a race that will determine who becomes the city’s 60th mayor in history.
“Shirley Franklin was Atlanta’s first female mayor,” said Dr. Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University and an 11Alive political analyst.
Franklin served as mayor from 2002 to 2008.
Atlanta was chartered in December 1847, and elected its first mayor one year later, Moses M. Formwalt. For the next 125 years, Atlanta only elected white men to serve as mayor.
That all changed in 1974, when Maynard H. Jackson defeated incumbent Sam Massell to become the city’s first black mayor. Jackson served two terms as Atlanta mayor, followed by Andrew Young (1982-1990); another single term from Jackson (1990-94) and then Bill Campbell (1994-2002).
To date, Massell remains the last white male to serve as Atlanta mayor.
It wasn’t until the 21st century that Atlanta elected its first female mayor of any race: Franklin, in 2002.
Besides becoming Atlanta’s second-ever female mayor, Norwood, if elected, would be the city’s first white female mayor and also the city’s first white mayor of the 21st century.