Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms has announced that she will not run for re-election, but wants to be clear she’s not being driven from office by failure.
“I don’t know what’s next for me personally and for our family. But what I do know is that this is a decision made from a position of strength, not weakness,” Bottoms said Friday at a news conference, according to CBS.
Although as a black, female Democratic mayor of a major American city Bottoms had a growing national reputation that attracted President Joe Biden to help her raise campaign cash in March, a report in The New York Times suggested she was vulnerable on the issue of public safety.
“The mayor’s inability to get a handle on crime has become the central theme for two challengers,” The Times noted.
Murders in Atlanta are up 57 percent, rapes have increased 55 percent, aggravated assaults are up 36 percent and auto thefts have risen 31 percent, according to The Times.
When law enforcement is constantly criticized by political forces who want to “reimagine” public safety, crime spikes and innocent citizens pay the price. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s happening in Atlanta and these numbers prove it. #gapol https://t.co/l49OImA3B3
— Chris Carr (@ChrisCarr_Ga) May 3, 2021
Felicia Moore, president of Atlanta’s City Council, said the city currently “has a mayor that is more interested in things that happen outside Atlanta.”
“We need a mayor who knows the No. 1 job of any mayor is to keep our city safe,” Moore said, according to The Times.
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Issues related to public safety and police made Bottoms easy to attack on those fronts, Clark D. Cunningham, a law professor at Georgia State University, told The Times.
“It’s not because she’s too progressive,” he said. “It’s because she’s too incompetent.”
Bottoms said her decision not to run was the culmination of years of thinking that began when she took office.
“I can’t describe it,” she said at Friday’s news conference, according to The Times. “But I wasn’t sure that I would run again.”
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) May 7, 2021
“My faith teaches me that to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose,” a letter from Bottoms to the city began.
After recounting and praising her record, she wrote, “it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor.”
Her letter responds to questions in which she insists she could raise money and win, noting, “I have engaged in several elections, facing multiple candidates, and never once have I cowarded from the competition. “
As to her future, Bottoms wrote, “While I am not yet certain of what the future holds, I trust that my next season will continue to be one full of passion and purpose, guided by the belief that within each of us is the power and responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”
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