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May 21, 2019

Little Rock, Arkansas, elects black mayor for first time in history

December 5, 2018
Frank Scott, left, beat Baker Kurrus in a runoff election for Little Rock mayor. (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

Frank Scott won’t be Little Rock’s first black mayor, but he is the first black man elected mayor in town history.

The 35-year-old ex-aide to former Gov. Mike Beebe beat Baker Kurrus in the runoff race Tuesday shortly after 8:30 p.m., when Kurrus conceded.

“We started this journey making certain we were going to directly engage each and every voter,” Scott said in his victory speech, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “So I thank every volunteer, every team member, every donor, every voter, anybody that shot up a prayer or a positive vibe, we just want to say thank you.”

Scott will be Little Rock’s third black mayor, but the other two were city directors who had been chosen for the position by board members.

“If you believe it’s time to unify this city, let’s do it,” he said Tuesday night.

Little Rock is the famous home of the nine black students who were blocked from entering the racially segregated Little Rock Central High School by then-Gov. Orval Faubus three years after Brown v. Board of Education.

The Little Rock Nine were eventually allowed to attend the school after President Eisenhower intervened.

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