Montgomery, Alabama, elects its first-ever black mayor

Credit: Steven Reed/David Woods Campaign

Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed has reportedly won the mayoral run-off election and will become the first black mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, since the city was founded in 1819.

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 9:27 PM

(CNN) -- Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed has reportedly won the mayoral run-off election and will become the first black mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, since the city was founded in 1819.

Local media has called the election for Reed, who overwhelmingly defeated television station owner David Woods by more than 16,000 votes.

"Let the record show tonight, above all ... what we can do when we come together in this city and we build around positivity, around opportunity, and all the things that tie us together versus those things that keep us apart," Reed told supporters at a rally turned victory party.

Reed's message was one of unity.

"Tonight isn't the end, tonight is the beginning," he said. "Tonight sent a signal, not just to all of us here in Montgomery, all of us in Alabama, it sent a signal throughout this country about what kind of community we are right now, not what we were."

The vote count, according to the Montgomery County Election Center, with 98% of precincts reporting, was:

• Reed: 32,511 votes; 67.2%

• Woods: 15,891 votes; 32.8%

Reed and Woods received the most votes in August in the city's 12-person primary, leading to Tuesday's run-off. Reed got 42% of the vote, while Woods earned about 25%, CNN affiliate WSFA reported.

"We ran a very good race. We worked hard, met with a lot of people, and it just worked out that our opponent had more votes than we did," Woods told WSFA.

Sixty percent of Montgomery's roughly 200,000 residents are black or African-American, according to the US Census.

Longtime resident Diana Stokes Williams told CNN outside a polling station she had marched during the civil rights movement, been through segregation and was "very aware of the prejudice that has existed in her community."

"Coming from Montgomery ... where there's been a lot, Alabama's been full of lot of prejudice , and to go from (former Alabama Gov.) George Wallace to Reed would be a major step."

Williams said she voted in every election and it is important to have someone who looks like Reed represent the community.

She said as a black man, Reed has a greater perspective on life in Montgomery and can see both sides. She added that she hoped Reed would represent all races.

Alabama's second-largest city and its capital, Montgomery was also the first capital of the Confederacy early in the Civil War, and many streets and schools still bear Confederate names.

Montgomery later became the site of Rosa Parks' famed bus boycott in 1955 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dexter Avenue Baptist church, as well as the destination of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery protest marches that met with brutal police violence and led to the Voting Rights Act.

The nation's first memorial to the more than 4,000 victims of lynchings, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opened last year in Montgomery.

Candidate touts role as first black probate judge

Reed was elected in 2012 as a probate judge in Montgomery County, becoming the first African-American and youngest person to do so, his website says.

Woods is the owner and president of Woods Communications, which owns local television station WCOV, a CNN affiliate.

Todd Strange, Montgomery's mayor since 2009, was not running for reelection.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16181

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 21285

Reported Deaths: 353
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson482660
Shelby4615105
Trousdale13924
Rutherford109022
Sumner84345
Hamilton67015
Bledsoe6081
Williamson53210
Tipton4283
Putnam4285
Robertson4262
Lake4130
Wilson3828
Knox3565
Out of TN3394
Bedford2704
Montgomery2583
Rhea1970
Hardeman1920
Madison1742
Loudon1370
McMinn13614
Macon1193
Cheatham1140
Cumberland1111
Fayette1102
Dickson1070
Bradley1051
Blount893
Maury810
Washington750
Unassigned750
Sevier752
Coffee660
Wayne630
Gibson601
Sullivan602
Monroe592
Lauderdale561
Hickman540
Dyer490
Franklin491
Greene482
Anderson401
Marion371
DeKalb370
Grundy321
Hawkins312
Smith301
Hamblen302
Haywood302
Henry300
Marshall291
Jefferson280
Obion281
White280
Carroll271
Weakley260
Overton250
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Lawrence240
Warren220
Cocke200
Carter191
Morgan170
Campbell171
Cannon170
Jackson170
Crockett161
Roane160
Johnson150
Polk150
Henderson140
Humphreys131
Chester130
Perry130
Sequatchie130
Giles120
McNairy120
Fentress120
Hardin112
Scott110
Stewart100
Claiborne80
Houston80
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Clay60
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Pickett30
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