2:06 PM / Tuesday March 21, 2023

28 Feb 2023

Keisha Lance Bottoms leaving White House, returns to Atlanta

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February 28, 2023 Category: Stateside Posted by:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden has appointed former Columbia, South Carolina, Mayor Steve Benjamin as a top White House adviser, taking over from Keisha Lance Bottoms, the former Atlanta mayor who had assumed the role in June.

Both Georgia and South Carolina have become crucial to the Democratic Party ahead of the 2024 election cycle. South Carolina holds the Democrats’ first nominating contest, and Georgia helped solidify the Democrats’ Senate majority during the 2022 midterms and in 2020 gave Biden a rare win in a southern state that hasn’t backed a Democrat for president in 30 years.

Benjamin will become director of the White House Office of Engagement, overseeing efforts “to ensure community leaders, diverse perspectives, and new voices have the opportunity to inform the work of the President in an inclusive, transparent and responsible way,” according to the White House. In a release Monday, Biden called Benjamin a “longtime public servant” whose “deep relationships across the country” would well serve the administration.

Benjamin, 53, has long been considered a rising star in Democratic politics, serving three terms as Columbia’s mayor, and the first Black mayor in the city’s history. Serving as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and African Americans Mayors Association, Benjamin spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and was among the candidates considered for Hillary Clinton’s running mate that year. He opted not to run for a fourth term in 2021.

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