Candidates of color made history on 2021 election night: NPR

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Michelle Wu was elected mayor of Boston, Aftab Pureval was elected mayor of Cincinnati, and Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York.

Josh Reynolds, John Minchillo and Frank Franklin II / AP


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Josh Reynolds, John Minchillo and Frank Franklin II / AP


Michelle Wu was elected mayor of Boston, Aftab Pureval was elected mayor of Cincinnati, and Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York.

Josh Reynolds, John Minchillo and Frank Franklin II / AP

People of color made history on election night in 2021, bringing diversity to leadership roles in some of America’s biggest cities, as well as in some states.

In Boston and New York, Dearborn and Pittsburgh, a majority of voters adopted minority candidates.

Here’s a look at some of the most high-profile wins – a list we’ll update as the results continue to arrive:

Michelle Wu is the first woman and person of color to be elected mayor of Boston

The city councilor and daughter of Taiwanese immigrants broke the 199-year streak of white Boston city rulers. She beat her fellow Democratic city councilor Annissa Essaibi George, a self-described first-generation Arab-Polish American.

As NPR’s Vanessa Romo reports, “For many, the race came down to competing visions of the future with Essaibi George’s version presented as more of the old guard and Wu seen as Boston’s new school. ” Here are some of Wu’s priorities.

Pittsburgh elects Ed Gainey, the city’s first black mayor

The metropolis of western Pennsylvania, which is 23% Black, largely favored Democrat Gainey versus Republican challenger Tony Moreno. Gainey was born and raised by a single mother in Pittsburgh, where he lived in social housing and then found a career in politics. “We know how people have talked about Pittsburgh, how siled it is, how segregated it is,” Gainey told the supporters Tuesday, according to the WESA member station. “But today you changed that.”

Eric Adams becomes second black man to rule New York in history

New Yorkers picked Democrat Eric Adams, a former police department captain, as the city’s second black mayor, in a landslide victory.

Adams, a former state senator who is currently president of the Brooklyn Borough, succeeds Bill de Blasio, whose second term has been mired in the pandemic and economic turmoil, including historic job losses, the soaring house prices and rents and extreme income inequalities.

Adams introduced himself as the blue collar candidate. He made tackling gun violence and improving public safety a primary focus of his campaign, while calling for cuts to the NYPD budget and shifting some jobs to civilians that were carried out by officers. More on the race here.

Cincinnati elects Aftab Pureval, its first Asian-American mayor

The 39-year-old Democrat began his political career six years ago as a foreigner, reports member station WVXU, and last night he beat 82-year-old opponent David Mann, “a longtime mainstay of Cincinnati City Hall “.

The son of Indian immigrants, Pureval received his law degree and worked for Procter & Gamble before successfully running for Hamilton County Clerk in 2016.

He is the fourth person to be elected by direct vote of the mayor, in a race that saw a remarkably low turnout at 24%. WVXU has more on Pureval here.

Winsome Sears to be the first black woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

It is the highest office a woman of color has won so far in Virginia history. Sears, a Republican, won a race that showcased diversity: her Democratic opponent, Hala Ayala, comes from a family of Salvadoran, Irish, Lebanese and North African descent.

“Only 10 black women in the United States never have held a state-wide position, “member station WAMU Reports.

“What you are looking at is the American dream,” said Sears, a former pro-Trump navy, according to the UMOA. “I didn’t run to write history. I ran to leave her better than I found her … Help is on the way.”

Abdullah Hammoud becomes first Arab-American and Muslim mayor of Dearborn, Michigan

The Detroit suburbs boast one of the largest Arab communities in the United States, but it had never been reflected in the highest office in town. Hammoud, son of Lebanese immigrants, dedicated his victory speech Tuesday evening to “all the young girls or boys who have been ridiculed for their faith or their ethnic origin”. The representative of the democratic state defeated his opponent, longtime Michigan politician Gary Woronchak.

Tyrone Garner to be Kansas City, Kansas’ first black mayor

In his first political race, Garner toppled mandate holder David Alvey in the race to lead Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County – which have a unified government.

Garner, like Adams in New York, is a senior former police officer. He retired as deputy chef in June 2019, according to KCUR member station. But unlike Adams, his campaign focused not on cracking down on crime but on improving economic equity and public services, especially for residents of neglected neighborhoods. “I am a forward thinking who wants to be a unifying force to facilitate opportunity, fairness and hope,” he told KCUR.


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