A former refugee who came to Montana more than 20 years ago was elected to lead its capital city, Helena, becoming the first black person to become mayor in the state’s history.
Wilmot Collins ousted four-term Jim Smith in Tuesday night’s mayoral race, capping off a night of historic firsts throughout the country.
“After last night's historic firsts for many leaders across the country, Wilmot is confident that the future of this country favors a union of people from all different walks of life,” a campaign spokesperson told the Daily News in a statement.
“Most importantly, Wilmot is honored to be granted the opportunity to go to work for the hardworking and inspiring citizens of Helena!”
The spokesperson confirmed he’ll be the first black candidate in Montana’s history to win a mayoral election.
Collins came to the U.S. 23 years ago, fleeing civil war in his native Liberia. He went on to become an American citizen and worked in the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in child protection.
But he wasn’t the lone newly elected official to make history Tuesday night.