Election Day 2021: Black Candidates That Made History

Photo: Getty Images

No, it's not time to vote for the next U.S. President, but Election Day is still here. Around the country, millions of voters have taken to the ballot box to vote in several key elections. In major cities like Boston, New York and Atlanta, citizens are voting for a new mayor. In states like New Jersey and Virginia, residents are voting a new governor. Not to mention, cities like Minneapolis and Cleveland are voting on referendums that will impact public safety.

Much like any other Election Day, there are a number of Black candidates looking to make history. In the aforementioned New York mayoral race, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is working to become the city's next mayor. Meanwhile, Tameka Devine is seeking to become the first Black female mayor in the history of Columbia, South Carolina.

As election results come in throughout the evening, check out BIN to see if history has been made in your neck of the woods.

Local Races

Eric Adams

Photo: Getty Images


Position: Mayor

Candidate: Michelle Wu

Opponent(s): Annissa Essaibi George

What's At Stake: Wu is attempting to become the first non-White male mayor in the history of Boston, Massachusetts

Result: Wu (64.2%) def. George (35.8%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate: India Walton

Opponent(s): Byron Brown

What's At Stake: Walton is working to become the first Black woman to serve as mayor of Buffalo, New York.

Result: Brown (59%) def. Walton (41%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate: Justin Bibb

Opponent(s): Kevin Kelley

What's At Stake: Bibb is hoping to become the youngest Black mayor in the history of Cleveland.

Result: Bibb (63%) def. Kelley (38%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Tameika Devine, Sam P. Johnson

Opponent(s): Moe Baddourah, Daniel Rickenmann

What's At Stake: Devine and Johnson are striving to become the second Black mayor in the history of Columbia, South Carolina.

Result: Rickenmann (44%) leads Devine (30%)

Note: City law requires a candidate to secure at least 50% of the vote before being elected mayor. As a result, Rickenmann and Devine will head to a runoff election on November 16.


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Elaine O'Neal

Opponent(s): Javiera Caballero

What's At Stake: O'Neal believes she has what it takes to be the first Black female mayor of Durham, North Carolina.

Result: O'Neal (84.7%) def. Caballero (14.5%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Wanda Williams

Opponent(s): Timothy Rowbottom, Eric Papenfuse

What's At Stake: Williams is striving to become the second Black woman to serve as mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvan

Result: Williams (65%) def. Papenfuse (28.2%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Wilmot Collins

Opponent(s): Sonda Gaub

What's At Stake: Collins is working to become the first Black man to be re-elected as mayor in any town or city in the state of Montana.

Result: Collins (67%) def. Gaub (31%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): AJ Awed, Laverne Turner

Opponent(s): Jacob Frey, Sheila Nezhad, Katherine Knuth, Troy Benjegerdes, Clint Conner, Christopher W. David

What's At Stake: Turner and Awed hope to become the second Black mayor of Minneapolis.

Result: Frey (42.8%) def. Nezhad (21.1%)

New York

Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Eric Adams

Opponent(s): Curtis Silwa

What's At Stake: Adams seeks to become the city's second Black mayor in history.

Result: Adams (66.5%) def. Silwa (28.8%)


Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Ed Gainey

Opponent(s): Tony Moreno

What's At Stake: Gainey is working to become the city's first Black mayor.

Result: Gainey (71.2%) def. Moreno (28.8%)

St. Paul

Position: Mayor

Candidate(s): Melvin Carter, Miki Frost, Dora Jones-Robinson

Opponent(s): Paul Langenfeld, Abu Nayeem, Bill Hosko, Dino Guerin

What's At Stake: Carter is hoping to become the first Black man re-elected as mayor while Frost and Jones-Robinson aim to become the city's second Black mayor.

Result: Collins (61.7%) def. Guerina (12.6%)

State Races

Winsome Sears

Photo: Getty Images


Position: Lieutenant Governor

Candidate(s): Winsome Sears, Hala Ayala

Opponent(s): N/A

What's At Stake: Either Sears or Ayala will become the state's first Black lieutenant governor.

Result: Sears (50.7%) def. Ayala (49.3%)

Congressional Races

Shontel Brown

Photo: Getty Images


Position: U.S. Representative

District: 20th District

Candidate(s): Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Elvan Dowling, Omari Hardy, Dale Holness, Bobby DuBose, Phil Jackson, Emmanuel Morel, Perry Thurston

Opponent(s): Jason Mariner, Greg Musselwhite

What's At Stake: Nearly a dozen candidates are battling to become the second Black official to represent the district.

Result: Cherfilus-McCormick (23.8%) def. Holness (23.7%)

Note: Cherfilus-McCormick will compete against Musselwhite in the general election on January 11, 2022


Position: U.S. Representative

District: 11th District

Candidate(s): Shontel Brown, Laverne Gore

Opponent(s): N/A

What's At Stake: Brown or Gore will become the third Black woman to represent the state of Ohio's 11th congressional district in Congress.

Result: Brown (78.8%) def. Gore (21.2%)

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