The Buckhead Coalition, led by former Mayor Sam Massell, has endorsed Mary Norwood for mayor, saying that she is well known throughout the city and will serve all of Atlanta equally.

The nonprofit civic association endorsed candidates in all the other Atlanta elections before election day, but waited to make an endorsement in the mayoral race until the candidates moving on to the runoff were decided. Norwood, the Post 3 at-large councilmember will face Keisha Lance Bottoms, the District 11 councilmember, in the Dec. 5 runoff election.

Massell emphasized in a press release that the endorsement is not based on race, and noted that Massell is white and the Coalition Chairman Juanita Baranco is black.

“Although political pundits frequently attempt to square-off political contests in this city racially, Massell and Baranco are pleased to emphasize Norwood’s all-inclusive following throughout her city-wide elected terms on Atlanta’s City Council, and that the Coalition has endorsed a number of both black and white contenders,” the press release said.

Massell also said in the press release that he believes constituents look for a candidate they feel will represent their interests, not for a candidate that has the same race or background as they do.

“Based on my experience, constituents want their leaders to be sensitive to their interests, regardless of race, gender, religion, or other identification.  They may not have the same relationship or background, but they want those of us in public service to feel their human needs,” Massell said in a statement.

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