Newly elected Lawrence mayor part of historic trend
Marion County was one of several communities across the country that made history during Tuesday's election.
Driving the news: Democrat Deb Whitfield was elected mayor of Lawrence, making her Marion County's first Black mayor.
Why it matters: There are still milestones that women and minorities haven't yet achieved — including being elected to positions of power and leadership in many communities.
- Plus: Nearly one-third of Marion County residents are Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
What happened: Whitfield, a Lawrence resident since 1995, beat deputy mayor Dave Hofmann with about 53% of the vote.
- She succeeds Republican Mayor Steve Collier, who didn't run for a third term.
Her background: Whitfield has served on the Lawrence Common Council since being elected in 2019.
- She currently works as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Community Health Network, where she previously worked as a respiratory therapist.
What they're saying: "It's a very diverse community," said Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl. "Representation matters. Having leadership in Indiana that reflects our state is very, very important and that's one of the reasons why we're excited about Deb's win."
Meanwhile, Ronald Morrell Jr. is the first Black Republican to be elected mayor in Indiana's history — winning in the city of Marion.
- Democrat Angie Nelson Deuitch won Tuesday, making her the first Black mayor in Michigan City.
- Stephanie Terry, a Democrat, was elected in Evansville, making her that city's first Black and first female mayor.
Zoom out: They're all part of a trend of cities around the country electing "firsts."
- In Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker became the first woman elected mayor.
- Des Moines, Iowa, also elected its first woman mayor, Connie Boesen.
- Minneapolis suburb St. Louis Park elected the state's first Somali American mayor — Nadia Mohamed, who will also be the city's first Black and Muslim mayor.
Go deeper: Even more firsts
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