Mary Norwood called at 10:30 p.m. or so to explain what happened today.
The former Atlanta councilwoman admitted that she submitted her notice of candidacy, for the chairmanship of the Fulton County Commission, after the state-imposed deadline of noon Friday.
Norwood said she handed her paperwork and check to Barry Garner, director of elections for Fulton County, around 3 or 4 p.m.
“This one was a mix-up in the time,” said Norwood, who has been focused on gathering up 22,000 or so signatures by a July 13 deadline.
The ultimate decision of whether Norwood remains a viable candidate, she acknowledged, would be up to the Fulton County elections board. The law is clear, and cited here on a calendar posted by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
But plenty of candidates and office-holders, she reasoned, have filed campaign finance disclosures after state-mandated deadlines.
“We’re absolutely going full-speed ahead,” Norwood said. “It’s the spirit of what we’re trying to do, versus the technicalities.”
Norwood said she should still be considered a viable independent candidate – and would be out gathering signatures on Saturday.
Only Thursday, a Fulton County judge refused to rule on whether several thousand signatures gathered by Norwood were invalid because she printed the word “Fulton” on addresses of those voters endorsing her candidacy – rather than requiring the word to be hand-written.
Norwood said the decision was important – that the margin for error in signatures was razor-thin.
Should the deadline hold, Norwood would be the second candidate to abandon an independent bid in less than a week. Ray Boyd, a real estate executive, backed out of the governor’s race on Sunday — citing Georgia’s very stiff ballot access laws.
For the good of all of us, this has let us know how elections work in Georgia.”
Norwood said she has spent $100,000 on her pursuit of signatures for an independent candidacy – only $80,000 of which has been covered by contributions.