Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Thursday night she is not seeking re-election this fall, stunning supporters and some political observers who considered her a rising star among Democrats, not only as an early supporter of Joe Biden, but also because she is only the second Black woman executive in Georgia’s largest city.
As noted by the Seattle Times and Associated Press, Bottoms wrote in a message, “It is with deep emotions that I hold my head high and choose not to seek another term as mayor.” Reportedly, she prayed about the decision with husband, Derek, who is an executive at The Home Depot, Inc.
Mayor Bottoms’ decision was first reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bottoms reportedly was “in a strong position” for re-election this year, according to the Times story.
According to Fox News, “Bottoms gained national attention for her support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement during last summer’s protests, followed by her persistent condemnation of Donald Trump during the general election.”
The Journal-Constitution even recalled that Biden had attended a fund-raiser for Bottoms in March, raising a reported $500,000.
According to CNN, during a Friday morning news conference, Bottoms acknowledged, “Being Mayor with President Biden in the White House has made a world of difference. The ability to pick up the phone and have someone that you can call with an expectation that they will help you and not harm you.”
Already warming up in the political bullpen is Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore.
Bottoms has presided over a city with a rising number of homicides and violent crime associated with firearms, Fox News indicated. She recently announced the formation of a “new working group” to address the spike in violence. The network said Atlanta Police have reported a 60-percent increase in murders over the same period in 2020.
Georgia politics has become something of a contact sport, as noted by the controversy surrounding the 2020 presidential election results. Even the Seattle Times/AP story noted her tenure “has been a mix of rough-and-tumble City Hall politics and an ever-brightening national spotlight for her beyond the city.”
Quoted by CNN, Bottoms told a news conference Friday morning, “I never anticipated a social justice movement. I never anticipated a pandemic. I knew there was a mad man in the White House, but I didn’t know what it would feel like to lead under those circumstances.”
Fox said she was favored to win the election this year “despite backlash she has received regarding the city’s spike in crime.”
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