GEORGE MCGILL: Elected Fort Smith mayor.

Democratic State Rep. George McGill handily won election Tuesday night as mayor of Fort Smith. He’ll be the city’s first black mayor.

“I know every nook and cranny of this city,” he told KNWA after his victory. “And I’m proud of it.”

Advertisement

The Times-Record reports that McGill got 56.6 percent of the vote against Wayne Haver, a former high school principal, who had 33.1 percent, and Luis Andrade, a student who had 10.2 percent. He’ll succeed Sandy Sanders, who didn’t seek re-election.

Advertisement

McGill has been a low-profile legislator. But he drew wide attention in March when he made a powerful speech, calling on his own experience as a black man, in support of legislation to end the state’s holiday honoring both Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King Jr.

The elevation of a black man to mayor in Fort Smith comes only days after the Fort Smith police department swore in its first black female police officer.

Advertisement