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A little deja vu as Atlanta mayoral runoff splits voters

The runoff for Atlanta mayor split the city practically in half after a vitriolic campaign punctuated by political grudges and allegations of corruption.

Unofficial results showed Keisha Lance Bottoms, who’s black, leading with 46,464 votes, or 50.41 percent. Mary Norwood, who’s white, has 45,705 votes, or 49.59 percent.

Results could be certified as soon as Saturday. Norwood would then have 48 hours to request the recount, which could take about three hours to complete.

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms declares victory during an election-night watch party Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Atlanta’s two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call. Bottoms leads Mary Norwood by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The runoff was seen as a test of the staying power of the city’s long-dominant black political machine and how it would respond to demographic and economic changes. Atlanta’s last white mayor, Sam Massell, left office in 1974 and was succeeded over the next four decades by Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed.

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood steps off the stage after telling supporters she'll seek a recount in the tight race at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Atlanta's two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood steps off the stage after telling supporters she’ll seek a recount in the tight race at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday’s runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Atlanta’s two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms celebrates onstage before declaring victory during an election-night watch party Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Atlanta's two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call. Bottoms leads Mary Norwood by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms celebrates onstage before declaring victory during an election-night watch party Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Atlanta’s two-person mayoral runoff election is too close to call. Bottoms leads Mary Norwood by a margin of less than 1 percent, which is the threshold where the second-place finisher can request a recount under state law. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood speaks to supporters while telling the crowd she'll seek a recount in the tight race at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood speaks to supporters while telling the crowd she’ll seek a recount in the tight race at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday’s runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms and her family prepare to enter the gym of Fickett Elementary School  to vote during the Atlanta mayoral run-off election, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Atlanta.  Voters are deciding between Bottoms and Mary Norwood. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms and her family prepare to enter the gym of Fickett Elementary School to vote during the Atlanta mayoral run-off election, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Atlanta. Voters are deciding between Bottoms and Mary Norwood. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Mary Norwood makes a statement as she arrives for her election night party at the Park Tavern in the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. Voters in the Atlanta mayoral runoff election were deciding between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.  (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Mary Norwood makes a statement as she arrives for her election night party at the Park Tavern in the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. Voters in the Atlanta mayoral runoff election were deciding between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms, right, is greeted by a well wisher as she arrives for an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms, right, is greeted by a well wisher as she arrives for an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Early returns are broadcast on a television at an election night party for Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Whoever wins, Atlanta will be led by a female mayor for the first time since 2010, when former mayor Shirley Franklin left office. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Early returns are broadcast on a television at an election night party for Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday’s runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Whoever wins, Atlanta will be led by a female mayor for the first time since 2010, when former mayor Shirley Franklin left office. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Retired Atlanta firefighters John Howe, left, and Keb Wyant, wait for returns to come in while attending an election night party in support of Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. If Norwood wins, Atlanta would have its first-ever white female mayor. If Bottoms wins, it would continue what has been called the city's black political machine, which has dominated the mayor's office since the mid-1970s. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Retired Atlanta firefighters John Howe, left, and Keb Wyant, wait for returns to come in while attending an election night party in support of Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday’s runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. If Norwood wins, Atlanta would have its first-ever white female mayor. If Bottoms wins, it would continue what has been called the city’s black political machine, which has dominated the mayor’s office since the mid-1970s. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms is greeted by a well wisher as she arrives for an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms is greeted by a well wisher as she arrives for an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood greets supporters at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday's runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. If Norwood wins, Atlanta would have its first-ever white female mayor. If Bottoms wins, it would continue what has been called the city's black political machine, which has dominated the mayor's office since the mid-1970s. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta city councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood greets supporters at an election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Voters in Tuesday’s runoff for Atlanta mayor are deciding between Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms. If Norwood wins, Atlanta would have its first-ever white female mayor. If Bottoms wins, it would continue what has been called the city’s black political machine, which has dominated the mayor’s office since the mid-1970s. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mary Norwood makes a statement as she arrives for her election night party at the Park Tavern in the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. Voters in the Atlanta mayoral runoff election were deciding between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.  (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Mary Norwood makes a statement as she arrives for her election night party at the Park Tavern in the Atlanta mayoral runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Atlanta. Voters in the Atlanta mayoral runoff election were deciding between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

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