San Antonio’s mayoral race was a long and tough battle. And it turned out to be historic: Ivy Taylor has become the first African-American woman ever to be elected mayor of San Antonio
Shelley Kofler is with Texas Public Radio. She followed the race from the start, and joins the Texas Standard to discuss the election.
Here’s what she had to say about the win:
“It’s not known for sure whether Ivy Taylor is a democrat or republican, because she’s never run on a partisan ticket. She’s certainly harnessed republican, conservative votes… So, that conservative vote… she brought it out very strongly. She won the early vote. And, really, on election day, going into that vote, the Van De Putte people knew they had to do a very big vote on election day of their progressives and democrats and liberals for them to overtake her and to fill that gap.”
Listen to the full interview in the player above.
This story originally appeared on Texas Public Radio.
At her confetti-filled victory celebration, Ivy Taylor told a crowd of cheering supporters, “We’ve defeated a political machine.”
Throughout her campaign Taylor cast opponent Leticia Van de Putte as a partisan politician. Van de Putte was repeatedly elected as a Democrat during her 24 years in the state legislature.
“People are tired of politics as usual. They [voters] want to turn the page and have someone who is just a dedicated public servant and not necessarily a career politician. So I think that made the difference,” Taylor told cheering crowd of supporters.
Van de Putte’s campaign manager, Christian Archer, pinned the 52 to 48 percent win for Taylor on a solid turnout among conservative voters who favored Taylor, and on Taylor gaining the exposure that comes from already being on the job as the interim mayor chosen by council colleagues.
“Being the mayor, you know, you’re in the newspaper four or five times every day doing things for the city,” said Archer.
Taylor says she’s now ready to get back to negotiating a contract agreement with police officers who backed Van de Putte.
Van de Putte says she’s offered to assist Mayor Taylor any way she can, and asked her supporters to do the same.
“We need to stop being us and them, North Side and South Side. We need to be one San Antonio and I’m going to be part of that,” said Van de Putte, though she wasn’t specific about her plans.
Taylor will be sworn in for her two –year term on June 24.