Newswire: Montgomery, AL elects Steven Reed as capital city’s first Black mayor

By Mike Cason | mcason@al.com

Steven Reed speaks to supporters at victory rally

Montgomery voters have elected the capital city’s first Black mayor in a two-to-one landslide.
Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed defeated television station owner David Woods in Tuesday’s runoff, far exceeding his margin in the first election six weeks ago.
With 46 of 48 precincts in, Reed had 32,511 votes, or 67%. Woods had 15,891 votes, or 33%.
Speaking to cheering supporters packed shoulder-to-shoulder at a victory party, Reed talked about uniting the city and helping it reach its potential.
“We have been focused from day one about the things that make us better, the things that unite us,” Reed said. “And this is what I see in this crowd, and this is what I see in the results of tonight is a unified Montgomery. And let the record show that.”
Reed didn’t talk about being Montgomery’s first Black mayor but did talk about the election as a chance for defining change.
“Today is about the vision,” Reed said. “The vision we have for people far beyond this room. Some of the people who could not be here. But it encompasses and it connects all of them. And that’s what we have been saying and that’s what we want to make sure we continue tomorrow, and the next day and the next day. Because that is what is going to define this city. And that’s what’s going to define this election.
‘It’s not going to be about the first. It’s not even going to be about the best. It’s going to be about the impact that we make on the lives of others.”
Reed had led a field of a dozen candidates in the Aug. 27 election, getting about 42% of the vote. Woods ran second with about 24%.
Reed will replace Todd Strange, who did not seek reelection. Strange has been mayor since 2009.
Changes in the mayor’s office don’t come often in the 200-year-old Alabama capital city. Before Strange, Bobby Bright held the position for a decade after defeating incumbent Emory Folmar, who was mayor from 1977 to 1999.
Reed is the son of Joe Reed, the longtime leader of the Alabama Democratic Conference, the state’s predominant Black political organization.

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