Jacksonville Fla. Elects First Black Mayor

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Alvin Brown made history May 18 when he became the first African American to be elected mayor of the city of Jacksonville. Brown also became the first Democrat elected to the post in 20 years.

The race was too close to call May 17, the day of the election, so Brown had to wait until the next day for the results. Ultimately, Brown defeated his Republican opponent Mike Hogan by 1,500 votes.

“It took longer than expected to know the outcome,” Brown said in his victory speech on May 19, according to Jacksonville ABC affiliate WJXX. “But it was well worth the wait to count every vote and have every confidence in the results.”

Brown, a graduate of Jacksonville University, is a former advisor to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. While working in the White House, he managed a $4 billion initiative to create jobs as executive director of the White House Community Empowerment Board.

Brown said he wants to bring Jacksonville together, and as part of accomplishing that goal, he’s decided to have a bipartisan administration.

“To lead this city I will need support of neighbors who didn’t back our campaign and I will work hard to earn your trust,” Brown said. “We are one city.”

Brown garnered the support of several top Republicans during his campaign, including former Jacksonville Mayor Ed Austin, who contributed money to Brown’s campaign just days before his death in April several weeks after heart surgery.

The defeated Hogan also seems to be on board with Brown, and said he’s thrown his full support behind Brown to get the city turned around.

“These are unprecedented times facing our city and I ask all of my supporters to join me in rallying around Alvin Brown and his team as they begin the work of getting City Hall's fiscal house in order and putting Jacksonville back to work,” Hogan said in his concession speech, according to The Florida Times-Union.