Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Shocks Atlanta by Deciding Not to Run for a Second Term

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the current mayor of Atlanta, announced back in March that she would not be seeking a second term in office. She did not provide a specific reason for her decision to step down and did not say what she was going to pursue next. 

Caption : Keisha Lance Bottoms announces her decision at a press conference in Atlanta on the 17th of March

This decision shocked many at the morning press conference. Bottoms discussed the challenges she faced as Mayor of Atlanta, including a cyber-attack in March 2018 during the early months of her term, the protests following the murder of George Floyd, and serving as mayor during the Trump administration.

”There was last summer. There was a pandemic. There was a social justice movement. There was a madman in the White House,” she stated.

She stated she was not stepping down for family reasons. Responding to rumpus that she might work with her close friend Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens, she stated she would not be joining Wallgreens. She emphasized that hypothetical polling numbers stated that she would win without a runoff, so not running for a second term was not because of a lack of support.

Her decision was surprising, particularly given her growing popularity in the Democratic Party. Bottoms played a crucial role in President Biden’s election and even was under consideration as one of his possible running mates. Furthermore, she was offered a cabinet position in the Biden administration, but declined due to her responsibilities as the mayor. Aside from COVID-19 and issues related to police misconduct, there was an increase in violence last year, including an uptick in homicides, most of them racially motivated. 

“It is abundantly clear to me today that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else,” she said. She had been thinking about not running again for a ‘very long time’ she said.

When asked what she would have done differently as mayor, she said, “I likely would have asked for resignations sooner than my first 100 days in office,” Bottoms said, adding, “I would have changed the leadership team at City Hall much sooner.”


“Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BOTTOMS Surprises by Not Seeking Second Term.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 7 May 2021, 

Diaz, Jaclyn, and Scott Neuman. “Atlanta Mayor Cites Triumphs, Disappointments in Decision Not to Run for Reelection.” NPR, NPR, 7 May 2021,