First Black woman sworn into Madison County Commission

Violet Edwards defeated previous District 6 commissioner Jess Henry Malone in a runoff election this summer, which also makes her the first woman to serve that district.

Posted: Nov 11, 2020 12:29 PM
Updated: Nov 11, 2020 7:04 PM

History was made Wednesday in Madison County when Violet Edwards was sworn into office, becoming the first Black woman ever elected to the county commission.

Edwards defeated previous District 6 commissioner Jess Henry Malone in a runoff election this summer, which also makes her the first woman to serve that district.

Surrounded by family and friends, Edwards took a historic oath of office during Wednesday's commission meeting.

"It's very exciting. I just can't stop smiling," Edwards, District 6 Commissioner, said.

Edwards will now serve as the only woman and the only minority on the commission. She says it's an honor to be the first Black woman to hold this position.

"Two-hundred and twelve years ago, I don't think I was a thought when this county was formed. Women could not vote, and of course, Blacks were still slaves," Edwards said. "So, here it is 212 years later, I have the honor of serving this community, and just the gravity of when it was founded, I wasn't a consideration, but now I get to serve in this position." 

This will be Edwards' first role in public office after a career in journalism, marketing and working with nonprofits.

She says she hopes her historic role will inspire other women.

"Every place that decisions are made, I am a firm believer that women should be at the table, and being we make up 53% of this county, it was time," Edwards said.

Edwards said the greatest moments were having her sister, a local attorney, be the one to deliver her oath of office and having her mother being able to watch it all happen.

Edwards also said she's excited to get to work in District 6 and to work with the other commissioners.

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