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Stockton, California, residents elect youngest and first black mayor

Meet the history-maker, 26-year-old Michael Tubbs

The nation had its first black mayor in 1868 when 27-year-old Pierre Caliste Landry, born in 1841 as an American slave, was elected in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. But it’s commendable that in 2016 the residents of Stockton, California, elected 26-year-old Michael Tubbs on Nov. 8, placing him in the history books as the youngest and first black mayor of the city.

According to the Stockton Record, Tubbs was raised in south Stockton by a single mother. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and was elected to the Stockton City Council in 2012. President Barack Obama reportedly endorsed Tubbs last week as the campaign reached its final days.

“I’m tired of talking about where we’ve been,” Tubbs said at his victory. “I’m more interested in talking about where we’re going. We have to mature as a community and start demanding solutions,” Tubbs told the audience at his victory party Tuesday night.

Tubbs defeated 41-year-old Anthony Silva by a 40 percentage-point margin. He was an intern at the White House and at Google before starting his career in politics.

“My heart will always belong to Stockton,” Tubbs said. “I will always be remembered as the people’s mayor and I will support the new mayor and I will ask my supporters to also support him and help us make Stockton an amazing city.”

“I had hoped it would happen someday,” he said of becoming the city’s first black mayor. “You don’t get 70 percent of the vote out of nowhere. This victory is yours and ours. This room is what Stockton looks like. It’s people from gated communities and Conway Homes, black people, Asians, white people. Each of us is what it will take to move Stockton forward.”

 

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.