Former Indiana Attorney General Karen Freeman-Wilson proved the third time, indeed, is often the charm as she was elected as Gary, Ind.'s first female mayor and the state's first African-American female mayor Tuesday.
As the Northwest Indiana Times reports, Freeman-Wilson, a Harvard-educated lawyer, has run twice before for Gary mayor, in 2003 and 2007. She previously served as a Gary city judge, beginning in 1994, and the state's Attorney General, beginning in 2000.
"It's great to make history," she told a group of supporters Tuesday night at Gary's Genesis Convention Center. "We are here to celebrate a new day in Gary, Indiana. A new day for Gary and a new day for all of Northwest Indiana," she continued, according to WBEZ.
Freeman-Wilson's victory was not all that surprising, after she defeated 10 other Democratic rivals in a primary earlier in the year. According to the Times, she soundly defeated her Republican competitor Charles R. Smith, Jr., in addition to two other candidates. All were vying to succeed the city's current mayor Rudy Clay, who is leaving office due to health problems.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune of her plans for Gary, Indiana's seventh-largest city, she said she aims to develop the city's airport and transit system, build a new land-based casino and create incentives to lure businesses to relocate there. Her term begins Jan. 1.
She further noted in an interview with Fox Chicago Wednesday that she intends to spread the message that "Gary is open for business."
WATCH Gary's mayor-elect discuss her victory:
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