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Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek re-election By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mayor of Georgia Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s address in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., one day before the election, November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell/File Photo

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(Reuters) – Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was seen as a possible running mate for Joe Biden in last year’s U.S. presidential election, said on Thursday she will not seek a second term in office.

Bottoms, 51, who was elected mayor in 2017 and is just the second Black woman to lead the city, did not provide a reason for her decision and did not say what she would do next.

“It is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor,” Bottoms wrote https:// in a letter shared on Twitter.

An early supporter of President Biden, the past year put Bottoms in the frontlines of the country’s two largest challenges, with Atlanta riven by protests over George Floyd’s death in May, and the city emerging as a hot spot in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bottoms drew wide appreciation for her passionate televised news conference in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, addressing protesters in the city directly in a message of empathy towards them over racial discrimination. She then urged them to “go home” and study the nonviolence measures followed by civil rights icons.

But she faced criticism shortly after, when Rayshard Brooks, another Black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police in June, even though she had said that the city’s police procedures would be reviewed in the wake of Floyd’s death.

On Wednesday, the city reinstated the police officer who shot Brooks and was fired by Bottoms, with the Atlanta Civil Service Board saying she dismissed the officer, who is white, without a hearing and failed to follow procedures.

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