Baton Rouge Makes History By Electing Its First Black Woman Mayor
Sharon Weston Broome has made history as the first black woman ever to serve as Baton Rouge’s mayor.
The win came this past Saturday when the East Baton Rouge Parish selected Broome over her opponent Mack “Bodi” White, in a tight race that saw Broome receive 52 percent of the vote. She will succeed fellow democrat Kip Holden, 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 said 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.”
Prior to taking up the position of mayor, Broome served as a state representative and state senator. Her campaign for mayor was focused on healing and unifying Baton Rouge, as well as addressing the importance of investing in education, healthcare, 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,” Broome 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.”
Broome gains the position as a number of horrible incidents have hit Baton Rouge this year. Racial tensions were at a high following the death of Alton Sterling at the hands of two cops. Sterling was outside of a convenience store when he was confronted by two police officers, with one of them proceeding to shoot him during the altercation.
Along with that Baton Rouge was ravaged by flooding that left a number of residents in the city displaced.