World Mayor vote 20/21 African American Mayors
By City Mayors Research*






ON THIS PAGE: Black Americans have become instrumental in US local government ||| Political affiliations ||| African American Town and City Mayors ||| Research |||



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African American MayorsBlack Americans have become
instrumental in US local government

August 2020: It is thought that America’s first elected black mayors were Pierre Caliste Landry from Donaldsonville in southern Louisiana and Stephen Swails from Kingstree, South Carolina. Both men were elected in 1868, the year the 14th amendment to the US Constitution was adopted. The amendment gave citizenship to all persons born or naturalised in the USA. Pierre Landry later served as a judge and tax collector and sat for the Republican Party in the Louisiana State Senate, while Stephen Swails also joined the Republican Party and later became a member of the US Electoral College. (The Republican Party of the 19th century was formed in 1854 as an anti-slavery party)

It took, however, another 100 years for an African American to be elected mayor of a large US city. In 1970, Newark (NJ) and Dayton (OH) both elected Black American Democrats as mayors.

In the last quarter of the 20th century and the first two decades of the 21st, African Americans increasingly became involved in all levels of local government. During the 1970s cities like Tallahassee, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington DC and New Orleans elected their first black mayors. By the beginning of the 21st century, following the arrivals of African American mayors in cities like Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City, Seattle, Denver, St Louis, Rochester, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, San Francisco and Houston, the elections of black Americans ceased to be newsworthy.

Today, more than one third of America’s top-100 cities is governed by African Americans, with many mayors being women. Among the best know are Lori Lightfoot (Chicago), London Breed (San Francisco), Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta) and Muriel Bowser (Washington DC). The first black woman mayor of a large US city was Jessie Rattley, who was elected Mayor of Newport News (Virginia) in 1986. She served four years.

The most recently elected African American mayor is Elia Jones of Ferguson (Missouri), the town which in August 2014 made the news when Michael Brown, a black unarmed 18-year old teenager, was shot several times and killed by a white police officer. The police officer was later judged to have acted in self-defence.

The vast majority of African American mayors belong to the Democratic Party. Research among 55 large US cities with black mayors shows that in July 2020 some 50 mayors were Democrats, four were Independents and only one was a member of the Republican Party. The findings by City Mayors Research also show that most current black Democratic mayors were preceded by other Democrats, although many of them were white Americans.


Political affiliations
Political affiliation of African American mayors in 54 large towns and cities
Democratic Party: 50 mayors
Republican Party; 1 mayor
Independent: 4 mayors

Political affiliation of current mayor versus predecessor
Democrat to Democrat: 45 mayors
Democrat to Independent: 3 mayors
Republican to Democrat: 5 mayors
Republican to Independent: 1 mayor
Republican to Republican: 1 mayor

Race/ethnicity of current mayor versus predecessor
Black to Black: 22 mayors
White to Black: 32 mayors
Asian to Black: 1 mayor

(Please note: City Mayors Research only looked at US cities that currently have black mayors. It is possible, indeed probable, that a number of cities with currently white mayors were previously governed by black mayors.)


African American Town and City Mayors
Chicago (IL) Mayor
Lori Lightfoot
Birmingham (AL) Mayor
Randall Woodfin
San Francisco Mayor
London Breed
State / City / Town (population)
Incumbent Mayor
Brief CV and notes
ALABMA
Bessemer
(Popl: 27,000)
Kenneth Gulley
Birmingham
(Popl: 210,000)
Randall Woodfin Born 1981; Mayor since November 2017; Party: Democrat; Preceded by African American Democrat
Fort Deposit
(Popl: 1,200)
Fletcher Fountain
Georgiana
(Popl: 1,600)
Jerome Antone
Hillsboro
(Popl: 550)
Charles Owens
Hobson
(Popl: 800)
Alberta McCrory
Montgomery
(Popl: 200,000)
Steven Reed Born 1973; Mayor since November 2019; Party Democrat; Preceded by White American Republican
Prichard
(Popl: 22,000)
Jimmy Gardner
ARKANSAS
Blytheville
(Popl: 14,000)
James Sanders
Little Rock
(Popl: 197,000)
Frank Scott Born 1983; Mayor since January 2019; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Pine Bluff
(Popl: 43,000)
Shirley Washington Mayor since January 2017; Party Democratic;
Stamps
(Popl: 1,600)
Brenda Davis
Stephens
(Popl: 850)
Harry Brown
Wilmot
(Popl: 550)
Carolyn Harris
CALIFORNIA
Compton
(Popl: 96,000)
Aja Brown Born 1982; Mayor since July 2013; Party Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Inglewood
(Popl: 109,000)
James T Butts Born 1953; Mayor since January 2011; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Rialto
(Popl: 103,000)
Deborah Robertson
San Francisco
(Popl: 881,000)
London Breed Born 1974; Mayor since July 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded American Asian Democrat
Stockton
(Popl: 310,000)
Michael Tubbs Born 1990; Mayor since January 2017; Party: Democrat; Preceded by White American Republican
COLORADO
Denver
(Popl: 720,000)
Michael Hancock Born 1969; Mayor since July 2011; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
FLORIDA
Miami Gardens
(Popl: 110,000)
Oliver Gilbert Mayor since 2012: Party Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Miramar
(Popl: 141,000)
Wayne Messam Born 1974; Mayor since April 2015; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Orange Country
(Popl: 3,100,000)
Jerry Demings Born 1959; Mayor since December 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Republican
Palm Bay
(Popl: 115,000)
William Capote Born 1962: Mayor since 2012; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
West Palm Beach
(Popl: 110,000)
Keith James Born 1958; Mayor since March 2019; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
GEORGIA
Adairsville
(Popl: 4,900)
Kenneth Carson
Atlanta
(Popl: 506,000)
Keisha Lance Bottoms Born 1970; Mayor since January 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Augusta
(Popl: 197,000)
Hardie Davis Born 1968; Mayor since January 2015; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Broxton
(Popl: 1,200)
Darquitta Riley
Camilla
(Popl: 5,000)
Rufus Davis Born 1964; Mayor since January 2016; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American
Douglasville
(Popl: 34,000)
Rochelle Robinson
East Point
(Popl: 35,000)
Deana Holiday Ingraham
Fairburn
(
Popl: 16,000)
Elizabeth Carr-Hurst
Fayetteville
(Popl: 18,000)
Edward Johnson
Harrison
(Popl: 450)
Joe Walker
Keysville
(Popl: 300)
Linda Wilkes
Lithonia
(Popl: 2,300)
Deborah Jackson
Madison
(Popl: 4,000)
Fred Perriman
Powder Springs
(Popl: 15,000)
Al Thurman
Riverdale
(Popl: 15,000)
Evelyn Wynn-Dixon
Savannah
Popl: 136,000
Van R Johnson Mayor since January 2020; Party Democrat; Preceded by White American Republican
South Fulton
(Popl: 99,000)
William Edwards
Stonecrest
(Popl: 55,000)
Jason Lary Mayor since May 2017; Party: Democratic: First mayor of newly incorporated city
Union City
(Popl: 22,000)
Vince Williams
ILLINOIS
Aurora
(Popl: 197,500)
Richard Irvin Mayor since May 2017; Party: Independent; Preceded by White American Republican
Centreville
(
Popl: 5,000)
Marius Jackson
Chicago
(Popl: 2,700,000)
Lori Lightfoot Born 1962; Mayor since May 2019; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Country Club Hills (Popl: 16,500) James Ford
Dolton
(Popl: 22,000)
Riley Rogers
Hazel Crest
(Popl: 14,000)
Vernard Alsberry
Phoenix
(Popl: 2,000)
Terry Wells
Robbins
(Popl: 5,500)
Tyrone Ward
Waukegan
(Popl: 88,000)
Sam Cunningham Mayor since May 2017; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
INDIANA
Gary
(Popl: 75,000)
Jerome Prince Born 1964; Mayor since December 2019; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
IOWA
Waterloo
(Popl: 67,000)
Quentin Hart
LOUISIANA
Baton Rouge
(Popl: 223,000)
Sharon Weston Broome Born 1956; Mayor since January 2017; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Lake Providence
(Popl: 3,500)
Jerry Bell
Monroe
(Popl: 48,000)
James Mayo Born 1957; Mayor since June 2001; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Republican
New Orleans
(Popl: 390,000)
LaToya Cantrell Born 1972; Mayor since May 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Shreveport
(Popl: 188,000)
Adrian Perkins Mayor since December 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
St. Joseph
(Popl: 1,000)
Elvadus Fields
MARYLAND
Baltimore
(Popl: 600,000)
Jack Young Born 1954; Mayor since April 2019; Party Democratic; Preceded by Black American Democrat
Bladensburg
(Popl: 9,000)
Takisha James
Cambridge
(Popl: 12,000)
Victoria Jackson-Stanley Born 1953; Mayor since July 2008; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Glenarden
(Popl: 6,000)
Edward Estes
Mount Rainier
(Popl: 8,000)
Malinda Miles
North Brentwood
(Popl: 500)
Petrella Robinson
Seat Pleasant
(
Popl: 4,800)
Eugene Grant
MASSACHUSETTS
Framingham
(Popl: 73,000)
Yvonne M. Spicer Born 1962; Mayor since January 2018; Party: Democratic; Framingham's first elected mayor
MICHIGAN
Pontiac
(Popl: 59,000)
Deirdre Waterman Mayor since January 2014; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Flint
(Popl: 100,000)
Sheldon Neeley Born 1968; Mayor since November 2019; Party Democratic; Preceded by Africa American Democrat
MINNESOTA
St Paul
(Popl: 303,000)
Melvin Carter Born 1979; Mayor since January 2018; Party: Democratic (Minnesota Democrat-Farmer_Labor); Preceded by White American Democrat
MISSISSIPPI
Jackson
(Popl: 161,000)
Chokwe Antar Lumumba Born 1983; Mayor since July 2017; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Moss Point
(Popl: 13,000)
Mario King
Vicksburg
(Popl: 22,000)
George Flaggs Born 1953; Mayor since July 2013; Party: Independent; Preceded by African American Democrat
Yazoo City
(Popl: 11,000)
Diane Delaware
MISSOURI
Ferguson
(Popl: 21,000)
Elia Jones Mayor since June 2020; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Republican
Kansas City
(Popl: 495,000)
Quintin Lucas Mayor since August 2019; Party Democratic: Preceded by African American Democrat
Normandy
(Popl 5,000)
Patrick Green
Pine Lawn
(Popl 3,500)
Terry Epps
NEW JERSEY
East Orange
(Popl: 64,000)
Ted Green Mayor since January 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Irvington
(Popl: 54,000)
Tony Vauss Mayor since May 2014; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Newark
(Popl: 282,000)
Ras Baraka Born 1970; Mayor since May 2014; Party Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Plainfield
(Popl: 50,000)
Adrian Mapp Mayor since January 2014; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
NEW YORK
Buffalo
(Popl: 256,000)
Byron Brown Born 1958; Mayor since January 2006; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Ithaca
(Popl: 30,000)
Svante Myrick Born 1987; Mayor since 2012; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Mount Vernon
(Popl: 67,000)
Shawyn Patterson-Howard Mayor since January 2020; Party Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
Rochester
(Popl: 206,000)
Lovely Warren Born 1977; Mayor since January 2014; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
NORTH CAROLINA
Ahoskie
(Popl: 5,000)
Weyling White
Charlotte
(Popl: 800,000)
Vi Alexander Lyles Born 1952; Mayor since December 2017; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Green Level
(Popl: 2,200)
Remonia Enoch
Navassa
(Popl: 2,000)
Eulis Willis
Sedalia
(Popl: 700)
Howard Morgan
Williamston
(Popl: 5,300)
Joyce Whichard-Brown
OHIO
Youngstown
(Popl: 65,000)
Jamael Tito Brown Mayor since 2018; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Urbancrest
(Popl: 1,000)
Joseph Barnes
Warrensville Heights
(Popl: 13,200)
Bradley Sellers Born 1962; Mayor since January 2012; Party: Democratic
PENNSYLVANIA
Duquesne
(Popl: 5,500)
Nickole Nesby
SOUTH CAROLINA
Awendaw
(Popl: 1,300)
Miriam Green
Brunson
(Popl: 550)
Patricia Williams
Carlisle
(Popl: 450)
Mary Ferguson-Glenn
Columbia
(Popl: 130,000)
Steve Benjamin Born 1969; Mayor since July 2010; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Denmark
(Popl: 3,500)
Gerald Wright
Furman
(Popl: 250)
Francencia Ellis
Gray Court
(Popl: 800)
Stellartean Jones
Holly Hill
(Popl: 1,300)
William Johnson
Johnston
(Popl: 2,400)
Terrence Culbreath
Lake City
(Popl: 6,700)
Lovith Anderson
Norway
(Popl: 350)
Sarah Ann Johnson
Orangeburg
(Popl: 14,000)
Michael Butler
Santee
(Popl: 1,000)
Donnie Hilliard
St. Matthews
(Popl: 2,000)
Helen Carson-Peterson
Union
(Popl: 8,400)
Harold Thompson
TENNESSEE
Bluff City
(Popl: 1,700)
Irene Wells
TEXAS
Dallas
(Popl: 1,200,000)
Eric Johnson Born 1975; Mayor since June 2019; Party Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
DeSoto
(Popl: 53,000)
Curtistene McCowan
Hempstead
(Popl: 5,800)
Michael Wolfe
Houston
(Popl: 2,300,000)
Sylvester Turner Born 1954; Mayor since January 2016; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Missouri City
(Popl: 67,000)
Yolanda Ford Mayor since December 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Plano
(Popl: 286,000)
Harry LaRosiliere Born 1962; Mayor since May 2013; Party: Republican; Preceded by White American Republican
Prairie View
(Popl: 5,600)
David Allen
Willis
(Popl: 5,700)
Leonard Reed
VIRGINIA
Charlottesville
(Popl: 47,000)
Nikuyah Walker Mayor since January 2018; Party: Independent; Preceded by White American Democrat
Harrisonburg
(Popl: 53,000)
Deanna Reed Mayor since 2017; Party: Democratic;
Newport News
(Popl: 180,000)
McKinley Price Born 1949; Mayor since July 2010; Party: Independent; Preceded by White American Democrat
Norfolk
(Popl: 242,000)
Kenneth Alexander Born 1966; Mayor since July 2016; Party: Democratic; Preceded by White American Democrat
Richmond
(Popl: 230,000)
Levar Stoney Born 1981; Mayor since December 2016; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
WASHINGTON
Tacoma
(Popl: 217,000)
Victoria Woodards Mayor since January 2018; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat
WASHINGTON DC
Washington
(Popl: 706,000)
Muriel Bowser Born 1972; Mayor since January 2015; Party: Democratic; Preceded by African American Democrat

*Research and sources: The research was carried out between 2 and 9 June 2020, with updates in July and August 2020. Sources consulted include: US Conference of Mayors; African American Mayors Association, Wikipedia, State associations of African American mayors; US meidia, Ballotpedia, NPR.

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