Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek re-election

ATLANTA — LATEST STORY: ‘Time to pass the baton on’: Mayor Bottoms becomes emotional in speech about not seeking 2nd term


Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek reelection next year.

Sources close to the mayor told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston that Bottoms told supporters about her decision on a virtual meeting Thursday night.

A news conference is planned for 10 a.m. Friday but the mayor’s office did not say what she would be speaking about.

In a tweet, Bottoms released a letter to the city Thursday night confirming she was not running for another term in November.

[RELATED STORY: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms releases video, letter about not seeking 2nd term]

“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,” Bottoms said in the letter. “As I have done each day over the many years in which I have served in public office, through the remainder of my term, I will make every decision, keeping what is best for our communities top of mind, and will continue to work diligently to improve the lives of those in our city. I love you Atlanta. Thank you for the honor of serving as your Mayor.”

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne learned that Bottoms told supporters on the call that she will finish her term, and that she loves the city and will continue to fight for what she believes in.

Winne also learned Bottoms told relatives and members of her cabinet.

Winne was told she shared her latest polling numbers on the call, which showed 68% of voters giving her a positive review. An internal polling document obtained by Winne showed Bottoms receiving a backing from a majority of Black, white, male and female voters, as well as younger and older voters. It showed 75% of voters also approved of her handling of COVID-19.

Bottoms, the second Black woman to lead Atlanta, was first elected in 2017, beating then-Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood after the election went into a runoff.

Bottoms previously served as the executive director of the Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority under her predecessor, Kasim Reed.

[PHOTOS: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms through the years]

Bottoms is the only mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge and City Council member before being sworn in as Mayor.

During her time in office, Bottoms has taken on several major issues that have impacted the city.

In her first year, Bottoms signed an executive order to stop accepting detainees from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Bottoms oversaw the successful staging of Super Bowl LIII in Feb. 2019.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bottoms criticized the executive actions taken by Gov. Brian Kemp and even issued her own orders over masking and regulations surrounding COVID-19. The governor sued Bottoms and the city over the orders, but the suit was eventually dropped.

During the riots last summer over the death of George Floyd, Bottoms took center stage as she urged rioters to go home and stop looting the city.

Recently, Bottoms has been criticized for the rising amount of crime throughout the city of Atlanta.

“Among Mayor Bottoms’ notable accomplishments to date include the establishment of the City’s first fully-staffed Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the appointments of a LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator and a Human Trafficking Fellow, the citywide elimination of cash bail bond, the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees, and the rollout of the most far-reaching financial transparency platform in the City’s history – Atlanta’s Open Checkbook,” Bottoms biography says on the city’s website.

Bottoms is a product of Atlanta Public Schools and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law.