Keisha Lance Bottoms late Thursday said she won’t seek a second term as Atlanta’s mayor, a major shock after the Democrat rose to prominence during racial-justice protests last year and made the short-list of potential running mates for President Biden.
“As Derek and I have given thoughtful prayer and consideration to the season now before us, it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as mayor,” she wrote, referring to her husband, Derek Bottoms, in a letter posted online.
It was major news in Atlanta, a key hub in the Southeast and historic center for Black leaders.
Mrs. Bottoms, 51, rose to prominence during the protests and riots that followed the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. She spoke directly to protesters, saying lawless protests were unacceptable and they must be nonviolent. The moment won praise from Mr. Biden, who was running for president.
In her letter, Mrs. Bottoms recounted a tumultuous year that involved the protests, a pandemic and high-profile Georgia elections. She insisted she could have fundraised well and won again in the face of Democratic challengers who say the mayor hasn’t done enough to stop a rise in crime.
She also acknowledged that people will want to know if she plans to run for another office. Georgia is swiftly becoming the center of the U.S. political universe.
“While I am not yet certain of what the future holds, I trust that my next season will continue to be one full of passion and purpose, guided by the belief that within each of us is the power and responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” she wrote.