Atlanta Mayor Will not Run Once more: NPR
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks at a press conference on March 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Bottoms announced on Thursday May 6 that she would not run for re-election as mayor of the city. Megan Varner / Getty Images Hide caption
Megan Varner / Getty Images
Megan Varner / Getty Images
In a move that shocked Georgia political circles, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she would not seek re-election later that year. The first executive had raised money, including a virtual fundraiser with President Joe Biden for re-election.
On Thursday night, Bottoms posted a long open letter and produced a video on Dearatl.com explaining her decision. In it, she ticks off a list of accomplishments she made during her tenure, like investing in affordable housing and tens of millions of dollars spent on homelessness. She first privately told close friends, coworkers, and allies about her decision under the Atlanta Journal’s constitution.
“I’m not yet sure what the future holds,” she wrote. “I trust that my next season will continue to be full of passion and determination, guided by the conviction that in each of us there is the strength and responsibility to change the lives of others in a positive way.”
Her announcement sparked speculation online that she might run for higher office in Georgia. The state’s gubernatorial elections will take place next year.
Bottoms is expected to speak at a press conference on Friday at 10 a.m.
Bottoms’ public letter described her track record as mayor and the many obstacles her administration faced during her tenure as an Atlanta leader.
Three months into her tenure, the city was hit by “the largest cyber attack in the history of the city government, which took our systems out of service for months in exchange for a ransom we wouldn’t pay,” she said.
She also led the city through a federal investigation into previous administration, an increase in violent crime in the city, mass shootings at massage parlors in March, and the coronavirus pandemic. The soils tested positive for the virus at one point.
Bottoms pushed back against possible claims that she feared might not win another term.
“‘Can she raise funds?” YES, “she wrote.” With President Biden’s support, I had the most successful mayor fundraiser in Atlanta history. “Can she win again?” ABSOUT. Several credible polls have shown that if the mayor race took place today, I would be re-elected. “
Bottoms was seen as a rising national star in the Democratic Party, which makes her decision not to seek re-election even more surprising. She was once on a list to possibly serve as Vice President of President Joe Biden. She later turned down an offer to serve in Biden’s cabinet.