The AJC is reporting that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told staff, friends, and allies in a May 6 conference call that she will not seek reelection this November.
Bottoms has called a 10 a.m. press conference on Friday, May 7.
After news broke, Bottoms released a letter and video about her decision to leave the race.
Bottoms said she and her husband Derek “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.” She also leaves the door open for running for political office again.
The race to unseat Bottoms was already heating up with Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, local attorney Sharon Gay, Socialist Party Workers’ candidate Rachele Fruit, and newcomers Brandon Adkins and Amanda McGee all declaring their candidacies.
Bottoms’ national profile had increased dramatically during the pandemic, especially as she sparred with Gov. Brian Kemp over masks and reopening of businesses. President Joe Biden considered her as a potential vice-presidential candidate and nominated her for Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection at the Democratic National Committee.
Biden also attended a fundraiser in March for Bottoms, which raised $500,000 for her reelection bid.
But while her national profile has been on the rise, Bottoms has faced withering criticism at home for her handling of an ongoing crime wave. There have already been 44 homicides in the city since January coming off a record-breaking 157 homicides in 2020.