Gov. Brian Kemp’s attorneys canceled a request for an emergency court hearing scheduled Tuesday for his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a sign that efforts to hash out an out-of-court settlement might be gaining traction.
Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said late Monday that the governor was heartened by a recent concession from Bottoms, and that the hearing would be nixed to give more time for “productive, good faith negotiations with city officials.”
It’s the latest in a dizzying back-and-forth between the Republican governor and the Democratic mayor of Georgia’s capital city that’s extended along two fronts as they race to respond to both the coronavirus pandemic and recent protests, begun in the name of racial justice, that have at times become destructive.
On Friday, Kemp again renewed his emergency order calling for up to 1,000 Georgia National Guardsmen to protect state buildings in Atlanta during the demonstrations, prolonging a source of tension with Bottoms, who has opposed the move.
Three days later, Georgia’s House and Senate Democratic caucuses and several labor unions filed court papers opposing Kemp’s lawsuit against Atlanta’s mask mandate and other restrictions focused on the pandemic.