Atlanta Mayor Throws in the Towel, Won't Seek Reelection, and Won't Give a Specific Reason

Democratic National Convention via AP

Atlanta’s Democrat Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told reporters Thursday night that she won’t be seeking reelection but won’t provide a reason as to why.

According to a tweet thread by NPR reporter Stephen Fowler, Bottoms didn’t give a specific reason for departing from office but does perhaps give some clues as to why she wants to leave, saying that the last three years haven’t been what she wanted for the city. She does say that she’s making this decision from a position of strength, not weakness.

Bottoms also indicated that it “wasn’t one thing” that pushed her to this decision and that she had been thinking about this for some time. Fowler’s takeaway was that the last few years were too much on Bottoms and that the stress, and missed expectations of the job, were too much for her to handle.

Bottoms, 51, has been Atlanta’s mayor since 2017 and was the second black woman to sit at the mayor’s desk. Her time as Mayor wasn’t at all peaceful as Atlanta was hit with a cyberattack that took the city’s systems down for some time. This was later followed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter riots after the death of George Floyd, and then the 2020 elections.

During the riots, Bottoms was outwardly against the rioters, blaming them for the damage and death being caused in the city and making sure to highlight the fact that police were actually innocent. However, her city descended into murder and chaos, with the homicide rate shooting up 140 percent.

After the city turned on officer Garrett Rolfe over the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot, morale fell among the city police officers heavily. Police officers also felt fear about doing their jobs, becoming more passive instead of proactive, scared that a mistake would see them winding up as the next Derek Chauvin and having no confidence the city would have their back. Officers called out of work for a time, creating a lack of police officers on the streets known as the “blue flu.”

As a result, arrests fell 55 percent, narcotics arrests were down 70 percent, traffic stops dropped 69 percent, and traffic violations went down 74 percent.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp even felt the need to call in the National Guard, but Bottoms disagreed with this move.

Bottoms’ time as mayor will definitely be marked as one of Atlanta’s most tumultuous times but it can also be said that some of the worst of it happened because Bottoms allowed it to happen.