A one-time rising star in the Democrat Party has decided to make a dramatic career change, as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 51, announced this week that she will not run for re-election, as Fox News reported.
In a letter released on Thursday, Lance Bottoms declared, “it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor.” She also listed what she believed to have been her greatest achievements in office, including securing passage of ethics reform in city government, increasing the minimum wage, assisting Democrats in winning election to national office, and managing a cyber attack.
In making her decision public, Lance Bottoms said, “This has been my highest honor to serve as mayor of this city. My family moved to the west side of Atlanta and they found community and they found purpose and they found a way to make the lives of their children better and I stand here on their shoulders.”
Perhaps in anticipation of journalists’ questions about why she would not pursue re-election, Lance Bottoms said, “I wish that I could tell you there was a moment or that there was a thing. But when you have faith and you pray for God’s wisdom and guidance…it is abundantly clear to me today that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else.” The mayor also shot down speculation that she was stepping away from the role due to fears she would not win re-election.
While Lance Bottoms has not formally declared what comes next in her career, news reports – including one from Savannah, Georgia ABC affiliate WJCL – have hinted that she has accepted a corporate position with Walgreens. When asked about the Atlanta mayor’s decision, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also indicated that Lance Bottoms plans a move to the private sector after finishing her term in early January, NPR reported.
During the 2020 presidential race, Lance Bottoms gained significant attention as a rumored candidate to become Joe Biden’s running mate, as NPR reported at the time. Current Vice President Kamala Harris ultimately won the so-called veepstakes, and the Atlanta mayor subsequently declined a Cabinet position in the new administration, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Though she gained national notoriety as a potential pick to serve as Biden’s second in command, Lance Bottoms’ tenure in office soon ran into obstacles when protests and rioting in the aftermath of the police involved death of Rayshard Brooks in 2020 led some to question her effectiveness in handling that situation as well as a subsequent rise in violent crime.
Lance Bottoms is the daughter of late R&B singer Major Lance, and her career includes time spent as an attorney, a magistrate judge, and a member of the Atlanta City Council prior to winning election to the mayor’s office back in 2017, according to NPR.
Time will tell whether Lance Bottoms’ sojourn into the corporate world is a permanent one or if it will merely serve as a placeholder until the right opportunity in the realm of Democratic politics presents itself.