Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was seen as a possible running mate for Joe Biden in last year’s presidential election, said Thursday night that she will not seek a second term in office.
Bottoms, 51, who was elected mayor in 2017 and is only the second black woman to lead the city, did not give a reason for her decision and did not say what she would do next when she announced the surprise.
“It is with deep emotions that I hold my head high and choose not to seek another term as mayor,” Bottoms wrote on Twitter.
Bottoms had previously been raising funds for his re-election efforts, including organizing a virtual fundraiser with Joe Biden.
He said in his letter to social media that the decision was made “as [my husband] Derek and I have sincerely prayed and considered the season before us. “
While the letter did not provide a specific reason why Bottoms will not seek a second term as Atlanta’s 60th Mayor, the announcement clarified that the decision was not based on a lack of funds necessary for reelection, an inability to win or fear of competition.
“Multiple credible polls have shown that if the mayoral race were to take place today, I would be re-elected,” the statement read.
He also listed a number of Bottoms achievements in office, including the ending Atlanta Contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) that placed the detainees in the Atlanta city jail; help elect Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president; and the Democratic victories of US Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof in Georgia.
Bottoms’ sudden change in reelection is surprising, given his growing popularity in the Democratic Party.
Bottoms was an early endorser of Biden and played a crucial role in promoting his 2020 campaign.
She was also offered a cabinet position under Biden, one she turned down, citing her responsibilities as mayor in Atlanta.
Bottoms mayoral leadership has been tested with a number of challenges including rising Covid-19 cases and widespread demonstrations against racist police following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the murder of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta last year. past.
During Bottoms’ tenure, Atlanta has also been branded violent. In addition to a record number of homicides, the highest since 1996, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, eight people, most of Asian descent, were killed in a mass shooting at two spas in the area.
Bottoms had publicly stated that he believed race played a role in the motive for the suspect in the shooting.
Bottoms had made national headlines after being sued by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for ordering a face mask mandate for Atlanta, publicly calling the governor’s leadership “irresponsible.”
The mayor’s handling of Brooks’s death has been met with criticism, especially following the reinstatement of Officer Garrett Rolfe this week, who shot Brooks, after a review board found that the city had not followed its own disciplinary procedures. .
Now there will be feverish speculation about who will run as the next mayor of Georgia’s largest city.
Two-term mayor Kasim Reed could run again, and others wait behind the scenes.