Palmetto, election, Black mayor

Palmetto, Georgia, Elects First Black Woman Mayor

Teresa Thomas-Smith is dedicated to ending the racial and economic divide in her city.

Palmetto, Georgia, a predominantly Black town of 6,0000 located just 30 minutes south of downtown Atlanta, has elected its first African-American female mayor, Teresa Thomas-Smith.

In the November 7 election, she beat the competition by 84 votes. “I am on such a high, even when I lay down, I can’t sleep,” Thomas-Smith said. “The city is vibrating right now, it is not just me.” 

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, she served for four years on the city’s council after being in Palmetto for 20 years as a resident. She wants to bring her “loving” energy to Palmetto.

“They can expect honesty, transparency, and communication,” she said. “The very first thing I want to do is create a City Hall, a city government that is welcoming to the citizens. We want everyone to know this administration values you, as a member of this community.”

Thomas-Smith, 55, was introduced to politics because of her desire to learn more about her community. Originally from Atlanta, Thomas-Smith said she is excited to bring a smart development plan to the city that will maintain the city’s historical standing composition. 

She explained, “There is a way to do economic development that keeps the city with a small-town feel.”

She hopes that the new development will help to resolve the racial divide in the area. “There’s more that unites us than separates us. We all get cut, we all bleed the same red blood,” she said.

“So, your message to white Palmetto residents who may not have voted for you is love?” she was asked.

“Absolutely,” she replied.

Thomas-Smith will be sworn into office January 2, 2024.

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