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First Black mayor elected in South Carolina town's history

On Tuesday, Tony Junious became the Town of Summerton's first Black mayor.

SUMMERTON, S.C. — The Mayor of Summerton is making history as the town's first Black mayor. 

On April 5, Tony Junious defeated incumbent, Mac Bagnal in the mayoral race with a vote of 190 to 118. 

One week later, Junious was officially sworn into office.

"I’ve been here all my life and this is the first time so, it’s great," said Sandy Stokes who lives in Summerton. "The world is changing and we have to change with it. We have to accept what the world gives us every day and be thankful for it. And I’m sure the new mayor will do a great job."

Mayor Junious is a Summerton native and he says his priority is to work with every agency throughout this state to obtain any available resource to help move the Town forward with the growth that’s needed.

"I’m fond of the history being made, but I’m more excited that the citizens choose to elect me to serve as mayor, to help move the town forward," the mayor said. "My passion for Summerton of helping people and being a part of what’s here is just been love and overwhelming passion about what I did and what I'm doing about now."

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Before becoming mayor, he explained, he was on the school board for Clarendon School Districts One and Four. 

"As Mayor, I will collaborate with Council and the Town Administration to assure that everything is above board and transparent," the mayor said. "Although at times some may not agree with some decision-making, we will be careful throughout the process for the best interest of every stakeholder involved. We will take into consideration at all times to make sound decisions that will impact this Town."

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Other residents in the community like Brennan Guy, said they hope the mayor will help support local businesses and develop the community. 

"The man's race doesn’t bear much weight with me. Black, brown, yellow, green." Guy said. "What he does is what I’m looking for. I’m looking for someone who’s really going to make improvements with the town. Support the businesses here and support the people and what they're trying to do. Get us a grocery store, and get things that need to be done here."

In the acceptance speech, the Mayor said: 

"We assure the citizens of Summerton that our first priority is addressing the Town’s water and sewer infrastructure. We will address underserved areas in our town. We will address Park and Recreation for the citizens. We will improve safety for All Citizens. We will address dilapidated buildings, neglected homes, forgotten properties. Working Better Together is the motto is the message that we will model for every stakeholder."

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