Jacksonville Elects its First Black Mayor

Former advisor to President Bill Clinton takes city’s top job.

Posted: 05/19/2011 05:57 AM EDT

It became official last night, when the last 2,000 ballots, many of which were absentee, were counted. Alvin Brown had been elected the first African-American mayor in Jacksonville’s history. 

 

He also is the first Democrat elected to lead the Northern Florida city since 1991. Earlier, the race had been too close to call.

 

Brown, the former chairman of the National Black MBA Association, is currently the executive in residence at Jacksonville University's Davis College of Business.

 

After Brown’s GOP opponent conceded at 7 p.m., Brown said, “I am excited about the opportunity that we have to take Jacksonville to the next level, and I will work with people from every corner of this community to move Jacksonville forward. Now is the time to bring Jacksonville together and unite our city."

 

Brown, who will take office on July 1, had been considered an underdog. Jacksonville’s population is comprised of 464,000 whites, 245,000 Blacks and 54,000 Latinos of either race.

 

Political observers say Brown won by winning over Republican voters when he adopted some of the ideas of a GOP candidate in an earlier election. Brown also received support from a prominent Republican fundraiser.

 

Florida’s first Black sheriff, Nat Glover, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Jacksonville eight years ago.

(Photo: Courtesy of Alvin Brown)

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