Ivy Taylor, a long time city planner and city housing adminsitrator, today was named San Antonio's first ever African American mayor, winning the unanimous support of City Council on the third ballot to succeed Julian Castro, who resigned to take a position as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Making history is good," Taylor told reporters after her election by City Council. "I am overwhelmed and excited and appreciative of my colleagues for the faith they have shown in my."
Taylor was elected on the third ballot. Two of the four candidates who put their name in the running, Ron Nirenberg and Shirley Gonzales, received no support from City Council on the first ballot, and Taylor and Ray Lopez tied. On the second ballot, after Nirenberg and Gonzales were out and they voted, Taylor led Lopez 5-3. Lopez then withdrew his candidacy for the post, and council decided to name Taylor as mayor unanimously.
After the vote, Taylor said while being the first African American mayor is significant, she is more excited about being only the second female mayor of San Antonio.
"I am certainly excited to represent the ladies," she said. "It has been a while since we have a woman in this seat, so I certainly hope to inspire all of the ladies to think about all of the things that they can do."
Taylor was opposed by many members of the Gay and Lesbian community, as she was one of only three members of council to vote against the Non Discrimination Ordinance. Many said a mayor who supported the NDO is necessary to keep the progress going.
Taylor also said she supports a public vote on the downtown streetcar plan.
"It seems like folks are asking for the opportunity to have their voices heard through a vote, so I am supportive of the public’s right to vote," she said.
Taylor will serve as mayor until May 31, 2015. She says she will not be a candidate for election at that point.
"I think this will demand my full attention, so I will not have the time necessary to campaign or raise funds for a city wide campaign," she said.
And, even though some officials have referred to her title as 'Interim Mayor,' Taylor said she will be known as 'Mayor, period.'