Tuesday’s election night saw big wins for Black people in cities across the country. Popular mayoral candidates like New York City’s Eric Adams and Ken Welch in St. Petersburg, Fla., won their seats during a highly anticipated election day with various local government seats up for grabs. Here’s a rundown of some high-profile victories so far.
Eric Adams was elected as New York City’s newest mayor last night and is the second Black person (yes, in 110 mayors) to fill the seat in the city’s history. On Wednesday, the retired New York Police Department captain and Brooklyn’s borough president, told CNN’s John Berman:
“I wanted people to know my story, being a dishwasher, having a learning disability, being arrested as a child, going to school at night, working in a mail room. That was the story I wanted to send New Yorkers, and they felt me. And because of that, I’m now going to be the mayor of one of the greatest cities on the globe.”
Winsome Sears, a Republican, is the first Black woman elected as lieutenant governor of Virginia. According to WAMU, only 10 Black women have ever been elected to statewide office.
This may not want to be what some people hear, but Sears historic win foreshadows inevitable Republican control over the state. Glenn Youngkin was declared the winner of the race for governor and another Republican candidate, Jason Miyares, holds a narrow lead in the race for Virginia’s attorney general.
Winsome’s platform included being pro-gun, anti-abortion, and she even called critical race theory “nonsense” while on the campaign trail.
Tyrone Garner became the first Black mayor of Kansas City, which consolidated governments with Wyandotte County in 1997, according to NPR affiliate KCUR.
Garner, who is a retired Kansas City deputy chief, ran on a platform that included tax relief, improving public safety, and support for small businesses.
The former deputy chief had a bit of trouble on the campaign trail after the Kansas City, Kan., police department had been making headlines for police misconduct.
The Root reported that Jay-Z’s Team Roc, the philanthropic division of his company Roc Nation, filed a lawsuit against the department in September over not receiving documents that would help substantiate years of claims of police abuse during its investigation. Also, last month a federal grand jury began investigating retired Det. Roger Golubski, who is accused of raping Black women while on the force. Garner has been asked some tough questions about this case in particular.
Garner, who retired in 2019, has said at a debate that he did not know anything about the abuse, KCUR reports, and that he brought several cases of misconduct to internal affairs while he was on the force.
Buffalo mayor’s race still up in the air; St. Petersburg, Fla., and Pittsburgh, Pa., get Black mayors
Other high-profile victories include Ken Welch, who was elected mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Ed Gainey, who is now mayor-elect in Pittsburgh, Pa. Both Welch and Gainey made history as the first Black people to be elected mayor in their cities. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown declared himself the winner as a write-in candidate after he lost the Democratic primary earlier this year to Democratic Socialist India Walton. But write-in ballots still need to be counted, and with another candidate running a write-in campaign, Brown’s declaration is not a certainty.
Honestly, Tuesday night’s election was a win for all people of color who won their races. Some more wins that grabbed headlines are Michelle Wu, the first woman and Asian-American to become mayor in Boston; Aftab Pureval became the Asian-American elected mayor in Cincinnati; and Abdullah Hammoud is the first Arab-American to be elected mayor in Dearborn, Mich.