Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to speak at Iowa Democratic Party event

    In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms addresses the virtual convention on August 20, 2020. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

    Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame event, the party announced Tuesday.

    The Iowa Democratic Party praised Bottoms for her “influential and grounded political voice” during the 2020 presidential election and her mayoral leadership during a tumultuous term.

    “It’s an honor to welcome Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as we celebrate Iowa Democratic leaders at the Hall of Fame event,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rep. Ross Wilburn said in a Tuesday news release. “Mayors and local elected officials have seen firsthand how devastating the pandemic has been for small businesses and families across the country.”

    Bottoms was elected mayor in 2018, then rose to the national spotlight in 2020 when President Joe Biden considered her as a running mate. After Biden selected U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris for the vice presidency, he offered Bottoms a position in his Cabinet, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Bottoms declined the Cabinet position.

    “The Mayor’s focus remains on the people of Atlanta and the great state of Georgia,” Bottoms advisor Rashad Taylor told the Journal Constitution in December.

    In addition to serving as mayor, Bottoms is also the vice chair of civic engagement and voter protection for the Democratic National Committee.

    It’s unclear where Bottoms’s political career is headed next: the first-term mayor announced in May that she does not plan to seek re-election in 2022, shocking politicians in Georgia and beyond. She has not yet launched a campaign for any higher office.

    “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,” Bottoms wrote in an open letter announcing her intent to step down.

    The Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration will take place virtually on Sunday, June 13. The event will recognize influential Iowa Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, who retired from Congress in 2020, and Scott County activist Athena Gilbraith. Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart will also be speaking at the event.

    Katie Akin
    Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.