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Corey Woods defeats incumbent to become Tempe's first African American mayor

Woods had served on the Tempe City Council for 8 years before 2016 – including time as the city's vice mayor.
Credit: News File

TEMPE, Ariz. — History was made on Tuesday night when Mayor-Elect Corey Woods defeated two-term incumbent Mark Mitchell to become the first African American to serve as mayor of Tempe.

“It’s a wonderful feeling because I know a lot of the work that my parents and a whole bunch of folks did to provide opportunities to folks like myself, I feel like I realized a dream for them, but just looking forward to serving all the residents of Tempe,” Corey Woods said.

Woods had served on the Tempe City Council for eight years before 2016, including time as the city's vice mayor.

He decided the time was right to return to the city government to bring some new ideas.

“For me, it really was about thinking I wanted to give the voters a choice, but also won some of those key issues like traffic and human services and affordable housing – develop into the downtown. That, I thought, I could make a big difference,” said Woods.

Woods' term starts July 2

The Tempe City Council also has another "first" after Tuesday night's election. Doreen Garlid became the first Native American elected to the city council.

“Our residents are very forward-thinking, and they really do want a diverse council. I think that’s what we got. I think we’re going to work really well together,” said Woods.


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