Montgomery, Alabama, elects its first black mayor, unofficial results show – CNN

Montgomery, Alabama, elects its first black mayor, unofficial results show - CNN
Montgomery, Ala., elects citys first African-American mayor
Alabama's capital city of Montgomery, known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement, elected an African-American mayor Tuesday for the first time in the city’s nearly 200-year history.

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In the mayor’s race, Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed is facing off against businessman David Woods, who owns WCOV Fox 20, a local TV station.  If Reed wins, he would become the first black mayor in city history.

Steven Reed, who became Montgomery County’s first African-American probate judge in 2012, won about 67 percent of the vote in a nonpartisan runoff election, according to unofficial results released Tuesday night.

In the initial election on August 27, Reed finished in first place with about 43% of the vote to Woods 23%. The race is in a runoff because no one finished with a majority of the votes in the 12-person initial race.

Reed defeated David Woods, a white television station owner, after the two earned the most votes in a 12-person election in August, the New York Times reported. He will replace the current mayor of Montgomery, Todd Strange, who chose not to run for reelection after a decade in office, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Reed will be sworn in Nov. 12.

"This election has never been about me," Reed said in his victory speech. "This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all the hopes and dreams we have as individuals and collectively in this city."

Video: Steven Reed speaks after winning Montgomery mayoral election

Steven Reed wins Montgomery mayoral race – Yellowhammer News

"Montgomery is a city with limitless potential, a city that has no limits outside of our imagination," Reed continued. "The only thing that can hold us back is our fears. When we come together there's nothing that we can't accomplish. "

Steven Reed Becomes Montgomerys First Black Mayor

In his concession speech, Woods said: “We’re just going to go forward and try to support Steven Reed as mayor. And I just want to encourage everyone to try to continue to work together to bring Montgomery as a unified city. A unified Montgomery is a lot stronger than a divided Montgomery.”

Reed will be sworn into office November 12 and become the first black mayor in Montgomery’s history.

Montgomery has historically been a hotbed for racial tension. Southern delegates gathered in Montgomery in 1861 to vote to form the Confederacy. The city is also home to the church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organized the Montgomery bus boycott, in which Rosa Parks became a symbol of the 1960s civil rights movement.

“Looking at the demographics for the city that it’s majority minority and just all these years and only having a white mayor. I think its definitely time that the city’s leadership reflects the city’s population, the communities here,” said Seth Levi.

Montgomery elects Steven Reed as its first black mayor

Reed was endorsed by Democratic 2020 hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Montgomery's WSFA-TV reported. His father, Joe Reed, is the longtime leader of the black caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party.

Its a Historic Day in Montgomery, Ala.

Reed, a judge for Montgomery County, defeated David Woods by winning about 67 percent of the vote. Reed will replace current Mayor Todd Strange, who did not seek reelection.

“If there was any doubt about what we can do when we come together, when we unify this city, let the record show tonight … we (can) build around positivity, around opportunity, and all the things that tie us together,” Reed said Tuesday night, NBC-affiliate WSFA reported.

(Newser) – Alabama's capital, a city once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, elected its first African-American mayor Tuesday. Steven Reed, already the first black probate judge elected in Montgomery County, clasped the history-making victory to be elected the next mayor of Montgomery after defeating WCOV-TV owner David Woods, the AP reports. Reed, 45, won about 67% of the vote in Tuesday's mayoral runoff, according to unofficial returns. "This election has never been about me. This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in the city," Reed said in his victory speech. He said his campaign was built on a coalition focused on the city's future and "all of the things that tie us together rather than those things that keep us apart."

Montgomery, first incorporated in 1819, served as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, and about a century and a half later was the site of the bus boycott, a seminal moment in the civil rights movement.

Son of Joe Reed, the longtime leader of the black caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party, Reed will be the first black mayor of the city where Southern delegates voted to form the Confederacy in 1861. The city served as the first capital of the Confederacy but also played a critical role in the civil rights movement. City Hall is located not far from the church once led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and is also near the spot where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to obey bus segregation laws. Montgomery, a city of roughly 200,000 people, is about 60% black and has been losing population for years. "We're a city that wants to move forward and a city that wants a vision for the future, and a city that wants to see better opportunities across the board," Reed said as he waited for returns. Current Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who's served since 2009, did not seek reelection.

Montgomery had been one of three cities with a population greater than 100,000 in the six Deep South states that had not previously elected a black mayor, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.


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