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Source: Megan Varner / Getty

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not run for re-election this year.

On late Thursday night (May 6), the Democratic Mayor made the announcement that she has no plans to seek re-election as the city Mayor this year. Citing that while she still intends to make a difference, the next season of her life will not include being in the office of the Mayor, and she added that the decision was an emotional and difficult one to make.

“As (husband) Derek and I 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,” Bottoms wrote in a letter published online. “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.”

While she didn’t list her reasoning for coming to the shocking decision, Bottoms did reveal that her decision was not based on an inability to fundraise, a belief that she wouldn’t win again, or fear of competition in her bid for a second term as 60th mayor of Atlanta.

“I have engaged in several elections, facing multiple candidates, and never once have I cowarded from the competition,” Bottoms continued.

The move is a shocking reversal for Bottoms, a mayor with a rising national profile who had launched her reelection campaign and held a fundraising event featuring President Joe Biden in March,  which was the first headlined by the president since taking office raising over $500,000 for Bottoms’ reelection bid.

Bottoms wrote in the letter she is “not yet certain of what the future holds,” and she is confident she could win if she ran for reelection.

“It is my sincere hope that over the next several months, a candidate for mayor will emerge whom the people of Atlanta may entrust to lead our beloved city to its next and best chapter,” she wrote.

The decision creates a wide-open mayor’s race this year and is likely to open the door for a slew of new candidates.

Check out Mayor Bottom’s full statement below or click here.

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