East Texas town makes history after electing first ever African-American mayor

East Texas town makes history after electing first ever African-American mayor

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas town has just sworn in the first ever African-American mayor in the town’s history; he’s also the youngest mayor elected.

At Mount Pleasant City Hall, the walls are lined with history and pictures of each mayor since the first mayor was appointed in 1900. And soon, 51-year-old Tracy Craig Sr.’s picture will be added.

"I’m freshly retired from the military and I am able to dedicate that time,” Mayor Tracy Craig Sr. says.

Mayor Craig served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years and has moved back to his hometown to serve the residents of Mount Pleasant.

“One of my main interests is our youth and their education,” Craig says.

Craig believes East Texas youth have been set on the back burner, and that’s something he’d like to change.

“I’m blessed in knowing that,” Craig supporter Liz Haefs says.

Craig says he’s thankful for the support he’s received from the community, choosing to break a pattern in small-town politics. Others in the community are thankful, as well, for diversity in the city.

“There’s more acceptance to other races being in political positions,” Mount Pleasant resident Jermaine Carpenter says.

“I think it’s a great cultural change, with diversity,” Mount Pleasant resident Janet Rodarte says.

Craig will sit in the mayor’s seat for a 2-year term, and he says he’s already looking forward to running again.

Craig defeated former State Board of Education member and vice-chairman Thomas Ratliff in a runoff election this past Saturday.

Copyright 2019 KLTV. All rights reserved.