Black Woman Wins Mayoral Race in Italian Town

Illustration for article titled Black Woman Wins Mayoral Race in Italian Town

A gem from Afro:

By a slim margin of just 38 votes, a Black woman has become mayor of a small town in northern Italy.

Sandy Cane, 48, won the election earlier this summer and will govern the town of Valceresio, population 5,300, which borders Varesotto and the Swiss confederation of Ticino. She will serve a five-year term.

A member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, Cane was born in Springfield, Mass., the daughter of an African-American soldier and Italian mother who emigrated to northern France. Described as the voice of Italy’s right-wing party, she said she was happy about the election and that she threw her hat into race out of her love for the city of Viggiu.

“I became a candidate because I love Viggiu,” Cane was quoted as saying. “For me, it is fantastic. It is my city.”

Meanwhile, according to the Christian Science Monitor, Cane—who squared off in an election held concurrently with the European Parliament vote—is being lauded as “Italy’s Obama.”

She has been compared to the American president for her dark curly hair and her skin tone, both prominent in his genetic makeup, the Monitor reported. The two were also reportedly born in the same year.

But that’s just as far as the similarities go: for example, Cane stands firmly against immigration. She has said that she would not hesitate to round up the town’s illegal residents and deport them.


If you're keeping score at home, that would be: A Mixed race woman from Massachusetts emigrates to a nothern Italian town, runs for mayor on a right-wing anti-immigration platform and wins.

In a peculiar way, that is a real sign of progress. Maybe not the nicest thing in the world, but there's something oddly refreshing about going against type and shifting paradigms.