Atlanta City Councilwoman has the early lead to be Atlanta’s next mayor, according to an exclusive Channel 2 Action News poll. Norwood is pictured here in her 2013 bid to return to Council. BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Poll: Mary Norwood sprints to early lead in Atlanta mayor’s race

Eight years after losing her bid to become mayor of Atlanta, City Councilwoman Mary Norwood has taken a commanding lead in the early stages of the race to succeed Kasim Reed, according an exclusive Channel 2 Action News poll.

In the poll of 1,200 likely voters, 28.6 percent supported Norwood. Her closest competitor, state Sen. Vincent Fort, is at 9.3 percent.

The poll, conducted by Landmark Rosetta Stone for Channel 2, has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

“I am delighted by the results of this poll,” Norwood told Channel 2.

Despite Norwood’s lead, a large chunk of voters — 28 percent — is undecided.

Channel 2's Dave Huddleston explains why Norwood thinks she can win.

Eight of the nine major candidates in the crowded race were included in the poll. In addition to Norwood and Fort, candidates include Kwanza Hall, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Ceasar Mitchell, all members of the Atlanta City Council, and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, former city of Atlanta COO Peter Aman and Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves.

Candidate Michael Sterling, former director of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, was not included in the poll.

Bottoms is at 8.6 percent in the poll; Mitchell, 8 percent; Woolard, 6.1 percent; Hall, 5.8 percent; Eaves, 3.8 percent; and Aman at 1.8 percent.

In the race for Atlanta City Council president, which Rosetta also polled, Atlanta City Council members Felicia Moore and C.T Martin were virtually tied, at 23.7 percent and 21.8 percent respectively. Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, also vying for the president job, is at 9.5 percent. The number of undecided is at 45 percent.

Rosetta Stone Communications President John Garst told Channel 2 he expects a runoff in the race because of the large field, but thinks Norwood will be in first place.

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