Keisha Lance Bottoms turned down the chance to serve in President-elect Joe Biden‘s cabinet, one of the Atlanta mayor’s advisers said Saturday. The statement from Rashad Taylor confirmed reports from Friday that Bottoms didn’t accept an offer from Biden. However, it was unclear which cabinet position she turned down.
“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 in a statement on Saturday. “The Mayor’s focus remains on the people of Atlanta and the great state of Georgia. Out of respect for the process, and the other candidates under consideration, no additional comment will be forthcoming on this matter at this time.”
New Yorker reporter Charles Bethea tweeted Friday that “sources” told him Bottoms “was offered — and declined — the Ambassadorship to the Bahamas.” Bethea suggested that role was a far cry from the cabinet positions for which Bottoms was reportedly among those being considered, including the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A spokesperson for Biden’s transition team tweeted at Bethea and denied the report.
“This is not true,” Sean Savett quote-tweeted Bethea Friday afternoon. “No decisions on ambassadorships outside of UN have been made.”
Bethea, an Atlanta resident who covers politics, local media and the American South, didn’t back down.
“Standing by my sourcing on this,” he replied on Twitter.
The report set off a firestorm of emotion over an already hotly debated conversation regarding Biden and his senior leadership picks.
In particular, Biden has been getting pushed to further diversify an already extremely inclusive group of designated cabinet nominees, including Lloyd Austin, who, if confirmed, would be the first Black Secretary of Defense. Biden’s vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, is Black and Indian. Together, their closest senior advisers include people from a range of ethnic backgrounds, including multiple Black women.
But on Friday Biden introduced Tom Vilsack to be his U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary. The move was strongly opposed by some civil rights leaders in and outside of Georgia, where Shirley Sherrod, a Black woman wrongly terminated by Vilsack in a spectacularly tone-deaf firing, calls home.
It was unclear when Biden made the cabinet offer to Bottoms or if the nominations of Fudge and Vilsack played a role in her decision to turn it down.
Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden's Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury SecretarySource:Twitter 1 of 19
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 19
3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National CommitteeSource:Getty 3 of 19
4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 4 of 19
5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director5 of 19
6. Tina Flournoy, Vice President's Chief Of Staff6 of 19
7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 7 of 19
8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 8 of 19
9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative AffairsSource:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions 9 of 19
10. Jamie Harrison, DNC ChairSource:Getty 10 of 19
11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 19
12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality ChairpersonSource:Getty 12 of 19
13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden's Coronavirus Task Force13 of 19
14. Michael Regan, EPA14 of 19
15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 16 of 19
17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairpersonSource:Getty 17 of 19
18. Symone Sanders, Vice President's spokesperson18 of 19
19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 19 of 19
Confirmed: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ‘Respectfully Declined’ Biden Cabinet Spot, Aide Says was originally published on newsone.com