Steven Reed Becomes First Black Mayor Of Montgomery, Alabama

Steven Reed will be the first black mayor of Alabama's capital since it was founded in 1819.

Steven Reed Becomes First Black Mayor Of Montgomery, Alabama
Steven for Montgomery

"It's a new day for Montgomery."

Steven Reed made history as he was elected mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, on Tuesday. He'll be the city's first black mayor since it was founded in 1819. According to the U.S. Census, 60% of the capital's residents are black.

During his victory speech, Reed said: "This election has never been about me. This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in this city … and the way we found the opportunity to improve outcomes ... regardless of anything that may divide us or make us different from one another."

Reed also made history in 2012 when he became Montgomery County's first black probate judge, as well as the youngest person ever to hold that position. He was also the first Alabama probate judge to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 2015. The 45-year-old beat David Woods, a local TV station owner, by more than 16,000 votes.

"It's certainly significant, given the history of Montgomery, given all that happened here. Montgomery has been a pilot for so many world-changing events. Bus boycott. So many other things that have happened here. And so being a part of that history is very heartfelt to me."

Some of that history includes being the first capital of the Confederate States of America and a stronghold of racial violence and discrimination during the Jim Crow era. But it also includes the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and the Selma-to-Montgomery protest marches in 1965, which led to the Voting Rights Act. Just last year, the city opened the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the U.S.' first memorial to thousands of black lynching victims

Tuesday night, Reed said, "Let this go far beyond Montgomery, let it go far beyond Alabama and let it go far beyond this nation that we made a statement here tonight." 

He is scheduled to be sworn in on Nov. 12 at Montgomery City Hall.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN