Bottoms joins rare group of 1-term Atlanta mayors

Atlanta’s last white mayor, Sam Massell, was defeated in reelection bid by Maynard Jackson

Fast Facts about Keisha Lance Bottoms Keisha Lance Bottoms is Atlanta's 60th mayor. She's the only mayor in Atlanta’s history to be in all three government branches. She was a judge and city council member before becoming mayor. Bottoms is a product of Atlanta Public Schools. She graduated from Frederick Douglass High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University and earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta S

Keisha Lance Bottoms is joining a rare group of local politicos: that of one-term Atlanta mayors.

Bottoms shocked metro Atlanta and the nation late Thursday when she announced she is not seeking reelection. Her announcement immediately reverberated throughout metro Atlanta’s political and social media landscape.

The last mayor to serve one term in office was Maynard Jackson, from 1990 to 1994. However, that was after Jackson served two previous terms in office as Atlanta’s first Black mayor, from 1974 to 1982.

Jackson defeated Sam Massell in his reelection bid to assume the city’s highest office. Besides being Atlanta’s last white mayor, Massell was the most recent mayor to seek reelection and lose.

In 1941, Roy LeCraw served part of one term as Atlanta’s 50th mayor, before resigning to join the U.S. Army at the start of World War II.

Prior to LeCraw, William Hartsfield served one term as mayor from 1937 to 1941 and then ran again after LeCraw’s resignation. Hartsfield would then serve as mayor until 1962, making him Atlanta’s longest-serving mayor in history.

Every other mayor since Jackson — Andrew Young, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed — have served two full terms.

Until Hartsfield, most Atlanta mayors in the 20th century served only one term at a time. James Woodward was elected to three terms (1899-1901, 1905-07 and 1913-17) as was James Key (1919-23 and 1931-37).

Bottoms’ decision not to seek a second term marks a sharp turnabout for the city’s second Black woman executive who months ago was among those President Joe Biden considered for his running mate, and then for a Cabinet position.

Bottoms also joins a growing list of other big-city mayors who are quitting after one term. In November, St. Louis’ mayor at the time, Lyda Krewson, announced she would not pursue a second term. In December, Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle also opted out of a reelection bid.