Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced her decision not to seek a second term as mayor on Friday, according to a report in POLITICO.
Bottoms reportedly told staffers and allies of her office on Thursday that she would not be looking to hold her seat for another term after a bumpy four years in office, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The mayor followed up her Thursday evening phone calls with a news conference at Atlanta’s City Hall Friday, calling her time in office her “highest honor.”
“In the same way that it was very clear to me almost five years ago that I should run for mayor of Atlanta, it is abundantly clear to me today that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else,” Bottoms told reporters.
PJ Media reported that while polling data showing that Bottoms would easily win a re-election campaign, it’s no wonder she’s making her exit considering the mayor won her seat by just 800 votes in 2017, suffered cyberattacks and violent Black Lives Matter riots.
The outlet also reported that there has been speculation of a possible family crisis or scandal that the mayor might see coming which would cause her to seek a less high profile position.
There have also been guesses that the soon-to-be-former Mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities might go to work for Walgreens, whose CEO, Rosalind Brewer, is a friend of the Bottoms family, according to POLITICO.
The mayor has attempted to put those rumors to rest, saying her departure has nothing to do with the issues posited in the widespread speculation.
Bottoms’ time in office wasn’t altogether unfruitful for the Democrat party, however, considering that according to POLITICO, Bottoms served as what they called “a surrogate for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign from its early months.”
It was also thought early on that she could be a candidate for either the vice presidential candidate or a cabinet secretary. Bottoms reportedly turned down the cabinet secretary position in order to stick out her four years as mayor, prior to announcing that she would not run again.
PJ Media speculates that there may be “one or two cabinet members may leave shortly after the new year. If that happens, Bottoms would be at the top of a lot of lists for a cabinet position. She’d be a good fit for Biden, especially since her diversity credentials are impeccable.”
During her tenure in office, violent crime has risen overall, according to the outlet, and the Atlanta Police Department reported a 60 percent spike in homicides over last year that is being faced down by a beleaguered police department whose hands have been tied by “reforms.”