Montgomery, Ala., elects first African American mayor

Montgomery, Ala., elects first African American mayor
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A century and a half after it served as the first capital of the Confederacy, Montgomery, Ala., has elected its first black mayor.
 
Montgomery voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly chose probate judge Steven Reed to succeed the retiring incumbent. Reed beat David Woods, who owns a local television station, with 67 percent of the vote.
 
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Reed will take office in November, about a month before Montgomery marks the bicentennial of its incorporation.
 
Montgomery has been a majority-black city for decades, but the city has consistently elected white mayors, many of them Republicans. Reed will replace Todd Strange, the outgoing Republican mayor who has served since 2009.
 
Reed is a Montgomery native, the son of one of the first black men to serve on Montgomery’s city council. He became the first African American elected to serve as a probate judge, where he made a name for himself in 2015 by issuing same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of the state’s chief justice at the time, Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreMontgomery, Ala., elects first African American mayor GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war Sen. Doug Jones launches reelection bid in Alabama MORE.
 
He will take over a city with a long history of battles over civil rights. It served as the capital of the Confederacy for a few months in 1861. Ninety-six years later, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. President Lyndon Johnson deployed National Guard troops to protect civil rights marchers there in 1965, a demonstration that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.
 
Reed led a field of 12 candidates in the August primary election with 42 percent of the vote, easily outpacing candidates including former Rep. Artur Davis (D), who took just 4 percent.