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October 12, 2019

Alabama Judge Makes History after Becoming First Black Mayor of Montgomery

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Alabama's capital Montgomery made history on October 8 after electing a probate judge as the first African-American mayor of the city. 

The majority-black state capital of Alabama elected Steven Reed, a Montgomery County Probate Judge, to be the first black mayor since the city was founded in 1819.

Reed, 45, defeated businessman David Wood by earning approximately 67% of the total votes in the mayoral runoff. 

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In his victory speech, Reed confessed how the election was not just about him, but the whole city. 

"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."

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A RAY OF HOPE FOR MONTGOMERY

Known as Alabama's second-largest city, Montgomery was the first capital of Confederacy during the early civil war, but it is not all that there is to the city's significance. 

Montgomery served as the endpoint of the third protest march for voting rights from Selma, establishing a significant place in the fight for voting rights.

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Moreover, back in 1955, Rosa Park was boycotted from the very city for not giving her bus seat to a white citizen. 

With a new mayor in town, Montgomery residents hope for an inclusive society, unified and free of discrimination.

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During his campaign, Reed shared how he hoped to make Montgomery more "attractive to younger people and businesses" so that they won't have to leave the city in a quest for a better life. 

Currently, the city has been losing population with a majority of youth moving out for better opportunities.

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ANOTHER ALABAMA MAN BECOMES THE FIRST BLACK MAYOR  

Timothy Ragland, 29, became the first-ever Black mayor of Talladega, Alabama after defeating Jerry Cooper by a margin of 24 votes. According to Ragland, he will use his position to "advocate for the citizens of Talladega."

He also acknowledged that he has to fill out the shoes of the "shoulders of giants" including John Lawrence Taylor, a councilman of Talladega who served for two terms. 

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Sabriana Swain, a community activist, shared how she believes that the city will unite now that an African American mayor who knows what it feels like to walk in the citizens' shoes has been elected.

“To have our first African American mayor is a good thing. He’s very young and vibrant and I think he’s going to bring a lot of good ideas to the table. I think it is  time for the community to stand with him."

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The new mayor will be sworn to the office on November 4. 

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