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Who becomes mayor in Atlanta if Keisha Lance Bottoms takes a cabinet job?

Mayor Bottoms has been rumored as a possible cabinet choice by Joe Biden. What would that mean here?

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said yesterday she hasn't gotten any calls about possibly joining a Biden administration, and has a pretty good job right where she is.

But her name has been floated around as a possible choice to head a government agency such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And she also said yesterday, "never say never."

So what if she did get a call? What would happen here?

RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms was asked about joining the Biden administration. Here's what she said

Turns out city code has already planned for that. You don't often lose a mayor for a cabinet job, but they'll frequently make a run for a higher job like governor or senator - it's certainly not unheard of.

Atlanta's Municipal Clerk Foris Webb, III pointed us to Sec. 2-37.2 of the city's charter, which makes clear that if the mayor's office is vacated for "death, resignation or any other cause" the city council president would "immediately exercise all powers and discharge all duties of the mayor."

Simple enough, so far. Atlanta's current city council president is Felicia Moore - she would immediately become mayor.

But how long would she be mayor?

That's covered by Sec.5-103 of the charter, which covers special elections and filling vacancies.

It states: "If a regular election for the office of mayor is to be held within one year after the date that a vacancy in the office of mayor occurs, the president of the council shall assume and discharge the powers and duties of the office of mayor for the duration of the mayor's unexpired term, and the president pro tempore shall perform the duties of the president of the council during such period."

Because we're now within one year of the next mayoral election (which is set to happen in 2021), Council President Moore would simply assume the responsibilities of mayor through the duration of the next year until that election. No special election needed.

So, the short of it is: If Mayor Bottoms by some chance leaves for a federal job, City Council President Felicia Moore would be our mayor until the next election next November.

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