Your morning jolt: Mary Norwood’s presidential choices

This Jolt is being written with one ear on V-103 and a two-hour Atlanta mayoral debate among all six candidates. No news yet, but stay tuned.

Look for former state senator Kasim Reed, and perhaps Council President Lisa Borders, to press front-runner Mary Norwood on her Republican past.

That’s the route that Reed took at Sunday’s Atlanta Press Club debate. Afterwards, my AJC colleague Ernie Suggs asked Norwood if she ever voted for George W. Bush.

“I don’t remember,” she said.

On Monday evening, her campaign did some backtracking. Campaign spokeswoman Zee Bradford said the question was too foggy.

“She had just finished the debate and she was trying to remember the candidates,” Bradford said. “She doesn’t vote along party lines. She votes for the candidates. She has voted Republican, Democrat and independent.”

Norwood’s memory has now cleared. In presidential contests, the Buckhead councilwoman said she voted for:

– Ross Perot in 1992;

– Bill Clinton in 1996;

– Al Gore in 2000;

– John Kerry in 2004;

– and Barack Obama in 2008.

In other words, one independent and four Democrats. Not that she thinks about that.

“Mary remembers the candidates, she just doesn’t remember the year,” Bradford said. “Mary is not a Republican. People are saying that because they want to distract the voters.”

Norwood did, however, in 1999 attend the state GOP convention as a delegate in 1999. Her campaign said she attended as a vendor and was offered a delegate slot on the spot. She says the experience turned her off to partisan politics.

Addendum: The Reed campaign points out that Norwood voted in the 1998, 2000 and 2004 Republican primaries and runoffs. And that, while Norwood says she voted for Bill Clinton in 1996 general election, she also participated in the ‘96 Republican presidential primary contest.

The U.S. House unanimously approved H.R. 1471 on Monday, which will expand the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, Ga., to include the gas station operated by the former president’s brother Billy.

The measure, which now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval, would add about 30 acres at a cost of $17 million over five years. Most of the money will go to land purchases.

Billy Carter’s gas station became something of an iconic symbol during the Carter years. The national press used it as a kind of informal headquarters. Billy Carter, whose toyed with his redneck image and even produced his own brand of beer, died of pancreatic cancer in 1988 at age 51.

According to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, who introduced the measure:

The legislation will redesignate the park from a national historic site to a national historical park and will direct that that the park service preserves and interprets a southern agricultural-based rural community during the early to middle years of the 20th century.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Georgia, Florida, Alabama delegations to discuss water war.
  • AARP sues over gas pipeline surcharge.
  • Perdue nominates Allen Barnes as new EPD director.
  • Handel, Evans reach ethics compromise.
  • Atlanta to outsource parking enforcement.
  • Cobb County town hall meeting on flood recovery draws 300.
  • Marietta council candidate owes back taxes.
  • Some opinion:

  • Two views: Is the White House justified in its Fox News criticism?
  • Wall Street bonuses wrongly blamed for U.S. financial crisis.
  • Death is more expensive than life.
  • And from beyond:

  • WP: The AARP as reform advocate — and insurance salesman.
  • NYT: German limits on war are facing reality in Afghanistan.
  • WSJ: Web alphabet set to change, to include Asian language characters.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    40 comments Add your comment


    October 27th, 2009
    9:18 am

    Norwood attended a Democratic convention as well.

    She’s come out in favor of gay marriage and pro-choice, come one now. One week away from the election and the desperation begins.


    October 27th, 2009
    9:32 am

    Norwood hired Bill Campbell’s old press secratary Zee Bradford??? Now that’s change we can’t believe in.

    Krooked Kasim

    October 27th, 2009
    9:36 am


    October 27th, 2009
    9:37 am

    OMG, she is lying. She voted in Republican primaries but is now saying she’s voting for the Democratic nominees.

    That’s fast talking Mary for you!


    October 27th, 2009
    9:48 am

    If she is such a democrat, why does she claim to be “purple?”

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 27th, 2009
    9:59 am

    Job 12:21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and looseth the belt of the strong.

    12:22 He uncovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

    pleasenot mary

    October 27th, 2009
    9:59 am

    mary is a master manipulator and is clearly pandering. her commercials have no whites except herself, she is on the southside buying votes and anyone who really knows her and those who have worked for her know that she is a republican. she was talking about john mccain early on and now she says she voted for “obama biden”. WTH? do your research people! she has done nothing to show leadership, build consensus or accomplish anything. all she has done is pander and run for mayor over the past several years. who has a record? i have to support kasim, he has accomplished more than all other candidates combined. if he was not in the race then maybe jesse but DEFINITELY not lisa and mary. they complain about the very issues on which they directly had an impact.

    pleasenot mary

    October 27th, 2009
    10:01 am

    give mary a pacifier bc all she does is whine and cry about why she couldn’t achieve anything.

    Reed is #1!!!

    October 27th, 2009
    10:03 am

    Please vote for my man…Kasim Reed! If you vote for Reed, you won’t have to worry about your mortgage or even putting gas in your car. He will work with president obama to take care of you!

    Vote for Kasim Reed…he will boost our tourism industry with Luda concerts and maybe even Freaknik again!

    pleasenot mary

    October 27th, 2009
    10:06 am

    @ Reed is #1: you are quite transparent

    Reed is #1!!!

    October 27th, 2009
    10:09 am

    Thats right! Transparent just like my man in DC. My man Reed will be as transparent as the big boss in DC….OBAMA! Go Reed!


    October 27th, 2009
    10:19 am

    Kasim Reed threw Mayor Franklin under the bus over “failed leadership” and called out Mary Norwood for voting to increase pension payments. Jesse Spikes has truly surprised me with his answers and poise.


    October 27th, 2009
    10:52 am

    You can say what you want….

    Kasim has obviously been doing something right…given his fundraising and climbing in polls in spite of silly bloggers (campaign workers) on here saying otherwise. He is running a great campaign and has my vote.

    He gets my vote because of his record…but also because of the dirty tactics (notkasim blogs, slander, etc) that people are using behing an alias. If he were really incompetant, attack his record… not try to use scare tactics against him.

    Voters are smarter than that… You plan backfired and my little vote went to Kasim.

    Good luck.


    October 27th, 2009
    10:53 am

    excuse my typos


    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 27th, 2009
    10:53 am

    Only by G-d shall Atlanta continue to be the Best City in the World.

    We have the best geography and climate and Our Nation is truly American Exceptionalism, confirmed by President Obama’s election.

    Because we have the best people in the world living here, in the Buckle of the Bible Belt: human, real, kind, generous, good…and G-dly, we can know with certainty that the evil being visited upon us has been forced on us by the same traitors who killed John and Martin, committed 9/11, restarted the Afghan heroin trade and are shipping our jobs overseas while promoting illegal immigration.

    Mary Bush Norwood, of Roman Catholic carpetbagger stock from Augusta (who refuses to identify her religion or place of worship), married a much older Floral Arrangement Artist with two grown daughters, and never bothered raising a child…and has now revealed herself to be an undercover Republican, unsuccessfully trying to hide, by transparently lying, in Democrats’ “clothing.”

    G-d hates a liar; and those who now deny their recent support for the traitors who lied us into false war after having committed 9/11, are nothing but witting or unwitting agents of the revealed Anti-Christ (Amalek in Jewish parlance).

    G-d has blessed the stable, honest Lisa Borders, from a highly regarded local family, with a good son, an Honors graduate of our own Georgia State University.

    Scandal fails to touch her and in recent debates she has comported herself in a thoughtful, respectable, intelligent manner, which would not be an embarrassment to Our City – the Future of the Nation.

    Shall we now permit ourselves to be duped by those who endorse and support the Spirit of Evil in America; or,

    Shall we make Elect as Mayor one who may bless us as G-d has blessed her?

    Lisa Borders as Mayor of Atlanta is our only reasonable, G-dly choice.

    Let us speak with One Voice on Election Day.


    October 27th, 2009
    11:29 am

    And while we are on this subject, ask Blue Dog Rep. Jim Marshall if he voted for Barrack Obama or John McCain. People have a right to vote for whomever they want but how can you ask for someone’s vote without telling “who you with.”?


    October 27th, 2009
    11:29 am



    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 27th, 2009
    11:35 am

    The point is: Norwood is a liar.


    October 27th, 2009
    11:52 am

    Will Jones: $50 bucks says Norwood obliterates Reed in a run off.

    Morehouse Guy

    October 27th, 2009
    12:07 pm

    @ One Chris — It does matter when the candidate herself has called herself “purple” and an “Independent.” Further, her fairly consistent voting record in Republican primaries and runoffs and her attendance at a state GOP convention juxtaposed to her “recollection” of who she voted for calls her integrity into question. Do you actually believe her? Who in the hell forgets who they voted for President? Be serious. I can tell you I’ve voted for in every Presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral election in my entire life (general and primary). And when you run for public office, it is everyone’s business.

    Before we even get to the question of what you’ll do about downtown, the local economy, public safety, etc., we should all be concerned about whether the person we elect is honest and straightforward with us. All of the candidates raise questions, but the combination of Mary’s pandering and her “recollections” have me asking more questions about her.

    And I’m of the opinion that Ms. Norwood has not been honest about her challenges with the City’s finances (notice NO OTHER councilperson who served with her has said they have had the problem Ms. Norwood claims to have had in getting accurate financial data especially since CFO Glass has taken office). We’ve also seen Mary go ad nauseum on the dishonesty and “Enron-like accounting” going on at City Hall, but has she lodged a complaint with the City’s Integrity Hotline or any other law enforcement agency?

    There are concerns with every candidate in the race, but Mary’s mediocre debate performance, underwhelming campaign platform, anemic legislative record and now her questionable integrity raise more questions about her candidacy than anyone else in the race. Only Lisa Border’s friendship and financial support from sworn enemies of the City of Atlanta (Lynne Riley and her Milton County supporters — you can’t be a friend of the City and a support of Milton County) and Senator Reed’s questionable financial support (from City contractors) come close. But, at least Borders and Reed have shown themselves to be knowledgeable on the issues and have presented viable solutions to addressing them, and Reed has a record of accomplishment (not just going to community meetings but actual legislation) that few people on this message board are willing to acknowledge.

    He’s not the nicest guy and Lisa’s got her own issues, but Mary is neither impressive nor forthright with City voters.

    Reed's Dirty Little Secret

    October 27th, 2009
    12:31 pm

    Oh hi there. It’s me again. Don’t forget to ask Howard University about me…that is, if they’ll tell you.

    Lisa Borders – the best choice for Mayor of Atlanta.

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 27th, 2009
    12:48 pm

    I am against having liars, fascists, racists, and traitors in holy elected office. It is an affront to G-d and Our Creed.

    Mary Bush Norwood is lying about her political affiliation with fascists, racists, and traitors of the Gay Old Pervert faction…with “good” reason. Would Atlantans knowingly vote for one who is part of the evil which assassinated Dr. King and President Kennedy to send us to Vietnam?

    G-d has permitted her lie to be known to Atlanta. She was an elected delegate to Georgia’s Republican convention!

    Republican racists and fascists are laughing up their collective sleeves at the prospect of Blue Atlanta’s being duped into making one of their own our mayor.

    As “the curse causeless shall not come,” if we permit her to become elect the curse on Atlanta will be of our own doing just as the People’s permitting Mary’s cousin to be cheated into the White House by her fellow Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court to commit 9/11 for false war and fascist plutocracy has cursed America, thankfully being alleviated by the election of the anointed Barack Obama.

    As Obama was the right and inspired choice for America, Lisa Borders in our only proper choice for Atlanta to continue the path to redemption so needed after the traitorous reign of the Roman Anti-Christ in America of which Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed are a part.

    May G-d bless all of America, and particularly Atlanta, the New Jerusalem, once more.

    mission man

    October 27th, 2009
    1:29 pm

    Who cares what presidential candidate she voted for. Talk about something that has nothing to do with running the city of Atlatna. Are people’s tolerance for an intellectual discussion regarding the City of Atlanta’s issues so low that we have to dumb the Mayor’s race down with trivia. Why not ask who she voted for on American Idol. I’m concerned about what the next Mayor is going to do to tackle a runaway budget. It’s a non-partisan race. I don’t know why some of the candidates are intent on making it about political party.


    October 27th, 2009
    1:49 pm

    The point is that Will Jones is a liar.


    October 27th, 2009
    1:51 pm

    Nothing wrong with a Republican running Atlanta. She will sweep away most of the political appointees in City Hall and hire more white people. If you have the power, you should be able to use it.

    Bring Me the Head of Deforest Kelley

    October 27th, 2009
    2:01 pm

    Was Norwood really not able to remember whether or not she voted for W? I don’t understand how you can forget something like this. Elections are important enough to me that I can recall everyone for whom I voted president.

    If Norwood is a Republican, so be it. But when she says she can’t remember who she voted for president 4 or 8 years ago, this is either a remarkable demonstration of her political cowardess, or a serious deficiency in her memory. Both are a much greater concern about her ability as mayor than her party affiliation.

    Conservative in the ATL like a floating on an inner tube in the pacific ocean

    October 27th, 2009
    2:01 pm

    I don’t think it matters if Norwood voted in a Republican Primary. I voted in a Democratic Primary to vote Cynthia McKinney’s batsh** crazy a** out of office. Maybe it was a family friend or something.

    Wake up call to all the white people in buckhead…Mary Norwood is not conservative, she is not a republican, she doesn’t even “lean right”: She is not your friend. Voting for Bill Clinton is one thing. Even Gore can get a pass b/c he’s from Tennessee (although couldn’t win it). But if you voted for John Kerry, good night you’re confused.


    October 27th, 2009
    2:13 pm

    Will Jones, you need to lay off the sauce!

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 27th, 2009
    2:15 pm

    Fret not, Mary Norwood never voted for John Kerry. She isn’t “confused,” she’s a liar.

    But what else should be expected from a Roman Catholic carpetbagger and Bush cousin?

    Sick of it...

    October 27th, 2009
    2:18 pm


    October 27th, 2009
    2:27 pm

    I have attended concerts by both Ozzy Osbourne and Indigo Girls.
    What does that make me?

    [...] Personally, I’m disappointed by the superficiality of this effort. Certainly, Norwood isn’t as skilled a public speaker as are Borders and Reed. Simply stringing together clips of her stumbling over words doesn’t present a compelling argument against electing her mayor. If the haters wanted to prove Norwood is a lightweight, then they should’ve used clips of her saying dumb things. I’d start with something like her claiming not to recall whether she voted for George W. Bush. [...]

    Atl Resident

    October 27th, 2009
    2:45 pm

    Reed is #1!!! I guess you Reed are good homeboys, but come on now. But anyways, I guess Norwood was republican yesterday and chose to be democrat today. Maybe tomorrow she’s going liberal.


    October 27th, 2009
    2:56 pm

    I have yet to see any leadership skills in Mary Norwood. What I am seeing is excuses & generalities about her position for the city of Atlanta – this is NOT the type of mayor Atlanta needs.

    Morehouse Guy

    October 27th, 2009
    3:02 pm

    Again, it’s not about Mary being a Republican or not but about her being honest about her prior political activity as a citizen. I personally could care less, and this is a nonpartisan race, but just be straightforward when asked a really straightforward question. She was tripped up on a simple question and this backtracking raises more questions for me than this question should have. It’s not about trivia, but about whether you can trust someone to be straightforward with voters. Just answer the question, and don’t give us the lame excuse that you forgot, and then all of a sudden you remember. And in remembering, all of the votes are coincidentally Democratic and Independent. Who actually believes this?

    And as for the folks who feel that this line of questioning has little to do with the issues that matter to voters, exactly what is it about Mary’s agenda that has appealed to you? Since you’re “all about the issues”, what stance of hers has appealed to you? What in her Council record as a legislator appeals to you? She’ll “clean house?” Any proof in her record as a City Councilwoman that she’ll be an effective change agent?

    Or, alternatively, is it that you view Mary to be untethered to the Jackson Machine, and you believe that to be the root cause of all that ails Atlanta? I’d really love to hear an answer to this one.

    Atlanta Bound

    October 27th, 2009
    3:22 pm

    You all raise very good points…….I myself want the best candidate to do the job….and do it very well. It should not matter what one has voted in the past, as much as it matters what their plan of action will be to get Atlanta in order…Mary Norwood is that candidate who has great previous experience running a successful business and being a pillar in the community. Let us not get caught up in what someones religion is, who they voted for in the pass nor how they choose to raise their step children. Lets get out there and Vote for Mary Norwood!!!

    Morehouse Guy

    October 27th, 2009
    3:40 pm

    @Atlanta Bound: Given your criteria — “great previous experience running a successful business and being a pillar in the community” — it would seem to me that Lisa Borders would be your candidate of choice. She too has been a successful small businesswoman, she’s sat on countless boards and heads up the Grady Foundation.

    Using that criteria, how would you arrive at the conclusion that Mary is the best candidate? Again, I’m just trying to figure what is that is driving her popularity because I don’t see it (based on an assessment of her record on the Council, her debate performance and the comprehensiveness of her platform — see:

    The Snark

    October 27th, 2009
    4:37 pm

    Mary Norwood’s public comments are so vague, she reminds me of elementary school campaigns for class president. This white boy is voting for Lisa Borders.


    October 27th, 2009
    4:44 pm

    Morehouse Guy
    At least you dont feign objectivity through the lens of black racism. But it does seem that you are inexperienced or dont recognise what suscessful people have to do to attain their level of ambition. Sheer unadulterated hard work. It seems as though some people are so caught up in idenity politics that they fail to recognize the attributes that is required of us all to be sucessful. Goals, strategy and follow through.
    Ms Norwood had a personal vision andapplied herself to it. She has not considered herself “predestined” to be Mayor as some of our other canditates. Nor has she been “annointed” by the so called leaders in the community that were appointed by the press. Hard work, dilligence and obvious frugality have taken her to the brink of the mayorship. These are all personal traits that will be a foundation for her management orgainization. However this dosent mean she will have a suscessful term because there are so many other unforseen intangibles.

    Please review the AJC’s sunday comparison and see if Reed or Borders responses are really workable and concrete solutions or just answers to questions.
    As for my bonafides, I am a native atlantan that registered black people to vote when I was 12 @ the K Mart on bankhead hwy. i grew up integrating cascade heights and currently live off cascade rd.
    I am not member of anybody’s campaign, and if you look at bloggers rantings and antics on these blogs the last few days they certainly do a disservics to the the integrity of their advocated candidate.

    Ten Races To Watch

    November 2nd, 2009
    3:12 pm

    [...] recent entry of the state Democratic party into the race in support of Borders and Reed because of questions about Norwood’s political affiliations has sparked a flurry of last-minute interest and [...]