Georgia Democrats ratchet up attacks in Atlanta mayor's race

Under fire for choosing sides in the Atlanta mayor race, the Democratic Party of Georgia has upped the ante.

State Democrats unleashed a new round of attacks Thursday targeting Mary Norwood, including party-funded mailers warning the councilwoman’s victory would be “turning Atlanta over to the party of Trump” and a TV ad that links her to the president.

“Trump lies. Money. And hypocrisy,” a narrator intones as the faces of Donald Trump and Norwood appear on screen, with an arrow linking the two.

Norwood has long bristled at the attacks that she’s a closet Republican. She’s said she voted for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and calls herself a “progressive independent” who wants to maintain her political neutrality so she can better work across party lines.

Several prominent Democrats, including former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and ex-city aide Steve Labovitz, took the party to task earlier this week for backing Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has made her Democratic affiliation key to her campaign.

Other Democrats defended party chair DuBose Porter's decision. Michael Coleman, a former city attorney who served in Maynard Jackson’s administration, thanked the party in an open letter Thursday “for doing exactly what it should do – support the Democratic candidate in Atlanta’s mayoral race.”

“How ironic it would be for Atlanta to be the one place in the country where the Republican Party receives some traction in the age of Trump,” he wrote, adding that the party “is absolutely correct to try and avoid that fate.”

The onslaught came as more Democratic figures rallied to support Bottoms.

Jon Ossoff, who shattered fundraising records in his bid to flip Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, said Thursday he backs Bottoms because she will oppose “the division and deception that are poisoning our politics.” Former Gov. Roy Barnes was also expected to formally back Bottoms’ bid.

You’ll find more on, including these stories:

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.