Norwood gets new endorsements, hopes to win without runoff

Presumed Atlanta mayoral frontrunner Mary Norwood trotted out two new endorsements Friday as the campaign tries to win the election without a runoff on Nov. 3.

Former City Councilwoman and state Rep. "Able" Mable Thomas pledged her support for Norwood along with former mayoral candidate Glenn Thomas. The two are not related.

Both Thomases are African-American, a constituency Norwood needs to become Atlanta's first white mayor since 1973. About 51 percent of the city's registered voters identify themselves as African-American and some polls suggest as much as one-quarter of voters support Norwood, a two-term councilwoman.

With six mayoral candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot and two write-in candidates, most political experts assume no candidate will win the majority of votes on Election Day and the top two finishes will compete in a runoff on Dec. 1. But some Norwood supporters believe she can win without a runoff, citing polls that suggest she's well ahead of her main competitors, former state lawmaker Kasim Reed and City Council President Lisa Borders.

"We are going to be optimistic, but we are going to be realistic," Norwood said when asked of her chances without a runoff.

Both Thomases said they support Norwood because she will be more accessible and improve city services. However, Glenn Thomas said during debates that Norwood and Borders failed to stop what he said had been wasteful spending at City Hall.

Glenn Thomas defended Norwood on Friday, saying she was getting limited information from city officials.

"(The City Council) only really can do what they can with the information they receive," he said. "I believe...without a doubt that Mary is going to surround herself with the right types of people to bring that information to the council."