Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was offered a position in President-elect Joe Biden‘s administration, but she turned it down.
Bottom’s senior adviser Rashad Taylor didn’t say what position Bottoms was offered, only that she turned it down to focus on her job as the mayor of Atlanta.
“Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was honored to have been offered a role in the Cabinet, which she respectfully declined,” Taylor told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “The Mayor’s focus remains on the people of Atlanta and the great state of Georgia.”
The Biden transition team confirmed to the AJC that it offered Bottoms an unspecified position. Lance Bottoms endorsed Biden in June 2019, just before the first Democratic Primary debate. Additionally, Bottoms campaigned for Biden in Iowa and advocated on his behalf in Democratic meetings after the debates. Bottoms was also a top candidate to be Biden’s vice president before he eventually selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Biden struggled in the first two primary debates and it showed as he finished fourth in the Iowa Caucus, fifth in the New Hampshire Caucus, and second in the Nevada Caucus. However, the fourth debate in South Carolina began Biden’s rise to front runner in the Democratic Party.
Rumors of the position Bottoms declined included her leading the Small Business Administration, serving as the ambassador to the Bahamas, and leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) eventually took.
The mayor has clashed with Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp this year over his lack of coronavirus restrictions. In July, Kemp instituted restrictions on the state that did not include a mask mandate. Bottoms instituted a mask mandate in Atlanta prompting Kemp to sue the Atlanta City Council; he eventually dropped the suit.
The Georgia State University graduate still has a year and a half left on her term and said she is planning to run for reelection.