Mary Norwood’s former mayoral campaign treasurer is criticizing local faith leaders’ call for a weekend of Atlanta unity prayers, saying there is a “real possibility” the election may have been fraudulent.
“Now is not the time to pray for unity with the real possibility that the mayoral election was a fraud and so is Keshia [sic] Lance Bottoms as mayor,” Jamie Ensley wrote on the Reporter’s Facebook post about the unity effort.
In an effort inspired by former Mayor Sam Massell, who leads the Buckhead Coalition, a group of Buckhead faith leaders are asking congregations citywide to join in a common prayer for “Atlanta Together” unity on the May 19-20 weekend. Massell previously the idea is to clear “bitterness that hangs in the air from the elections.”
“Instead we must pray that God gives the FBI, GBI, and SOS [Secretary of State] the strength, knowledge, and the ability to investigate and prosecute all of those who have broken the law and stolen from taxpayers,” wrote Ensley, a bank executive who also serves as the president of Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT group.
Ensley’s statement comes after Georgia Secretary of State’s office revealed that it has opened an investigation into the December Atlanta runoff election. In an extremely close vote, Keisha Lance Bottoms was elected mayor over Norwood, a longtime Buckhead resident who the Buckhead Coalition had endorsed.
Norwood did not respond to requests for comment about Ensley’s statement and the unity prayer effort. Bottoms’ office had not responded to questions about whether she backs the prayer idea.
Keeva Kase, the president and chief executive officer of the Buckhead Christian Ministry, who is leading the unity effort, did not respond to a request for comment on Ensley’s statement.
Norwood considered a legal challenge over “voting irregularities” she alleged occurred during the election, but ultimately did not take any action.