Georgia Democrats attack ‘Mary the Republican’ in mayoral race

Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Democrats spent more than $165,000 to paint Mary Norwood as a closet Republican during her 2009 run for mayor. The party has largely avoided attacking the city councilwoman as she rose in the polls in this election – until now.

The Democratic Party of Georgia on Thursday launched a full-scale online attack against Norwood, labeling “Mary the Republican” as a far-right conservative who has a web of connections to GOP figures.

The site highlights Norwood’s high-profile Republican supporters, her hiring of conservative operatives and her refusal to endorse Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s nationally-watched 6th District race.

“Atlanta has had a Democratic mayor since 1881, and we’re not about to let Mary Norwood and the Republican Party steal that office,” said Michael Smith, the party’s spokesman. “Mary Norwood is funded by the GOP, and then she turns around and hands the money right back to Georgia’s far-right element.”

Norwood, who calls herself an independent, has held a consistent double-digit lead in polls since losing that 2009 race to Kasim Reed thanks to support across the political spectrum. An 11Alive poll this week showed she led the field among voters who identify as both strong Republicans and strong Democrats.

Norwood’s campaign said she’s drawn support from both sides of the aisle because voters are “fed up with corruptible politicians who ignore Atlanta’s communities.”

“Democrats and Republicans both know her to be the only candidate they can trust to shepherd our city government into a new era of transparency, trust, and fiscal responsibility,” her campaign said.

The Democratic site notes her campaign treasure, Jamie Ensley, is a former chair of the Log Cabin Republicans who endorsed Trump and that state Sen. Jeff Mullis hosted a fundraiser for her. She’s also raised cash from prominent Republicans, including former GOP gubernatorial nominee Guy Millner.

It homes in on campaign expenses of roughly $35,000 to a conservative consulting firm, Campaign Consulting Group, and Chris Perlera, Norwood’s political director. Perlera is a former staffer for Secretary of State Brian Kemp who ran as a Republican for a state House seat in 2012.

And it features a picture of her posing with U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, the Republican who defeated Ossoff in the June special election. It claims she “stood idly by while another Trump ally was elected” to represent Georgia in Congress.

Norwood readied her own webpage – http://www.georgiademsformary.com – in response that listed campaign aides who have deep Democratic ties. They include Democratic operatives Zeda Stanley Sartor, Florence Coram and Paul Zucca.

“Mary Norwood’s campaign team reflects the diversity of Atlanta,” the campaign said. “The team includes members from the African American, Latino, and Asian communities as well active members of Atlanta’s LGBTQ and Jewish communities.”

If the 2009 race is any indication, the attack is likely the first volley in a barrage to come. And the party suggests it’s launching the assault now – rather than during the runoff phase – in hopes of depressing her support earlier among left-leaning voters.

“We can’t sit idly by and let the Republican Party pull the wool over anyone’s eyes,” said Smith.

Read more about the Atlanta mayor’s race:

Big endorsements haven’t shifted Atlanta mayor’s race yet

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed a force in race to succeed him

Atlanta mayor’s race: A wide-open contest that will shape the region

Why Bernie Sanders is plunging into Atlanta’s mayoral race

Reader Comments 6

25 comments
MaryReid
MaryReid

I'm a Democrat and supporting Mary Norwood. Go figure!  I even hosted a Meet and Greet for her. I think it is possible for a mayor to be an Independent. There are more than two parties in this city and state so let's recognize that.

Joe Simms
Joe Simms

Why not vote for the candidate that has truly done something. Look at the king center area and how far it's come since Kwanza became the councilman.  I like his slogan to be everybody's Mayor.  Im sick of the divisions look at www.kwanzahall.com 



daddo
daddo

LOL.  Some of my best friends are Democrats.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

She's a white heterosexual; her type can't railroad the Democrat Party!

TMD1
TMD1

Do Dems have any programs other than blocking economic growth, prohibiting free speech, being intolerant of conservative ideas and being generally anti- everything that made America the greatest country in the world. Ask someone who came here from another country and they will tell you how great this country is. 

SethC729
SethC729

And here goes the silly racist stuff. Maybe this will just help her campaign even more. 

EdGraham
EdGraham

Mary Norwood would make a superb mayor but, just as they did in 2009, the black power elite in the city, joined by their friends in the Georgia Democratic Party and around the country, will make sure that the next mayor is black.

Atlantarama
Atlantarama

@EdGraham As a lifelong Democrat myself, I agree. We've had some great African American mayors in the past, but now the black community is nothing but a political machine in Atlanta that is self-serving, such as the implementation of that needless streetcar to the King Center. Leadership here is stagnant, and we need a new direction away from the status-quo.

Lindsay P.
Lindsay P.

This is one of the dumber things I've heard lately that politics is wasting money on! I personally think it's best for the parties to start crossing over; maybe that means they will finally start working together. Just my two cents ...

USMC2841
USMC2841

Ben Carson and Condoleezza Rice were too Republican to be black and Norwood is too white to be Democrat.


Atlanta - The city too busy hatin'.

Bayonet
Bayonet

Are there any conservatives that the Democrats and their media partners don't call "FAR right"?!?  Nope.  Blanket ad hominem demonization is the bulk of the Leftist game.  Moreover...ask a liberal what "right wing" actually is----and they've not a clue, so they invent slander like "it means racist".  I'm telling ya', progressives should be proud.  They have co-opted our educational system into indoctrination centers.  From academia, to media, to Hollywood...even though the Left is a minority across our population (year after year, liberals score between 19-25% in self-identification....see Gallup study on political attitudes), they completely saturate these sectors of influence.  Which is why you NEVER see the modifiers like "far", "extreme", "radical" applied to the description of a liberal.  Ever.  Observe the scam folks, and be wary of the propagandist mainstream.

USMC2841
USMC2841

@jezel-dog / Coach - me @MidGaRetiree I saw the way he avoided all of the minorities when visiting the Vegas shooting victims and hurricane victims...oh wait he didn't.  His actions are speaking louder than your words.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

You make the case- the filters through which you get your info are committed to labeling him a supremacist even though it's a lie. Fortunately, more and more people have wished up- unlike lemmings like you.

justhetruth2017
justhetruth2017

typical card to play. When someone stands up to King Kassim , threatens to expose the corruption of Mayor Reed, his puppet Keisha Bottoms and the crooks who run the cabal at city hall , they call em the only thing they can....a republican. if this is all they have on Norwood its gonna be a route. Good chance more of the crooks tied to Reed will be making appearances in Federal Court before the election. Should make for a great campaign!  

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

You may soon get your wish. Jeff Jafari, a contractor who got $100 million in City business and whose office was raided recently by the FBI, had a constant companion on his frequent trips to the Mayor Kasim's office....Tracy Reed, Kasim's brother.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Did you mean to say "GOP" or "white people"?

BDCoole
BDCoole

I'd rather see her than Fort. If that's what goes for a Democrat...This helps Caesar.

Of course this is the same old play every mayoral election. Maynard and Campbell played the Republican race card in 1997 against Marvin Arrington, Sr.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the Democratic Party of Georgia launched a full-scale online attack against another mayoral candidate, Mary Norwood, labeling her “Mary the Republican.” The effort […]

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  2. […] Georgia Democrats attack ‘Mary the Republican’ in mayoral race […]

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  3. […] other than partisan politics. Because that’s going to disappoint you, no matter how many times Georgia Democrats scream that Mary Norwood is privately a […]

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  4. […] The Georgia Democratic Party was also quick to pounce,using the occasion as an opportunity to once again ding Mary Norwood as a closet Republican. […]

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  5. […] In the last race, the party spent more than $165,000 assailing Norwood in the runoff. In this one, state Democrats launched the first attack in October, painting her as “Mary the Republican” and warning that she could be the first non-Democrat to win the city’s top job since 1881. […]

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  6. […] her as a Republican. Her campaign staff had ties to the Trump campaign—her campaign treasurer endorsed Trump—and she refused to endorse Jon Ossoff in his bid last year for Tom Price’s vacated House […]

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