Black Woman Makes Louisiana State History After Winning Sheriff's Election

Photo: Getty Images

After a narrow election and runoff, Orleans Parish residents voted in its first ever female sheriff Saturday (December 11), unseating a four-term incumbent.

Susan Hutson beat out Sheriff Marlin Gusman in a runoff election this weekend, capturing 53% of the votes in the parish.Hutson is not on the first female sheriff in the parish, she's also the first Black woman to hold the job in the parish and in the state of Louisiana, according to WGNO.

In an initial election, Gusman had a 13-point lead over Hutson, earning 48% of votes compared to Hutson's 35%. The election went into a runoff since neither candidate earned the minimum 51% of the vote. Gusman had been sheriff since 2004.

"History has been made," Hutson said in a statement on Facebook. "I am so proud and humbled to call myself your next Sheriff. A huge thank you to all of our campaign staff, our community organizers, the religious community, nonprofits, neighbors and friends."

"Let's get to work," Hutson added.

Before being elected sheriff, Hutson served as the independent police monitor for the New Orleans Police Department for a decade. That position was created in 2008 when Orleans Parish voters passed a referendum to create an office to monitor changes to the police department.

Hutson ran a campaign on criminal justice reform, including providing gender-conforming housing, opposition to expanding the parish's jail, and terminating fees on phone calls between incarcerated people and their loved ones, and more.

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