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The other challenger, Sharon Gay, a lawyer, also said she would make crime fighting a top priority.
Ms. Bottoms, 51, was expected to build a formidable defense. She has a loyal ally in President Biden, whom she supported early on, and who repaid her loyalty with an appearance at a virtual fundraiser in March. Ms. Bottoms was briefly mentioned as a potential vice president and said she later turned down a cabinet position in the Biden administration.
Ms. Bottoms, who served as judge and councilor before narrowly winning the 2017 mayor election, is also blessed with one voice – measured, compassionate, slightly hurt, and permeated by her experience as a black daughter and mother – that seemed uniquely calibrated too be to tackle the challenges of the past year.
After the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, Ms. Bottoms went on live television and became a national star speaking directly to protesters. Some of their demonstrations had fallen into lawlessness, with people breaking windows, spraying property and burning cars.
“When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother hurt,” she said. She then scolded the protesters, insisting that they “go home” and study the rules of nonviolence as practiced by the leaders of the civil rights movement.
Mr Biden was one of several national figures who were noted. “We saw her stand and speak out in the summer full of protests and pain,” said the president at the fundraiser in March.
However, the challenges were numerous.
On June 12, shortly after Mr. Floyd’s death, a white Atlanta police officer shot and killed a black man, Rayshard Brooks, in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Protests and violence broke out, and the Bottoms administration fired officer Garrett Rolfe the day after the shooting. (This week, the city’s public services agency reinstated officer Rolfe, who was accused of murder, because the administration violated his procedural rights.)