First Black Woman Mayor Elected in Baton Rouge
East Baton Rouge took a history-making step on Saturday when Sharon Weston Broome (D-La.) became the first black woman elected to serve as mayor-president.
The 60-year-old Broome defeated her opponent, Mack “Bodi” White (R-La) in a close race, gaining 52 percent of the vote. She will succeed Kip Holden (also a democrat), who served for 12 years as the first black mayor of the city.
“Tonight Baton Rouge made a statement, a statement that we are a city of inclusion,” Broome stated in her acceptance speech. “That we are a place of hope and optimism. A place where little boys and little girls of all walks of life know that they can grow up and lead a city no matter what their color or gender.”
This win for Broome comes on the heels of a summer tainted by racial tension, and an election season that has been even more so. In July, the shooting death of Alton Sterling by a police officer sparked protests in Baton Rouge, and in August, the city faced sheer devastation after flooding that left over a dozen people dead and thousands displaced, including the mayor-elect.
According to Nola.com, Broome, who previously served as state senator and state representative, ran a campaign that focused on unifying and promoting healing in the city, as well as the need to invest in healthcare, education, low-income communities and criminal justice reform.
“Being unified is not only part of a vision for our future, it’s the backbone of the process that takes us there,” she said. “We will work for the next four years to make our city an example of how to heal and progress past the hurt that we have seen.”
By: Danielle Dixon
Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani