There’s a new mayor in the city of Baton Rouge, and her first order of business is to unify and heal the city plagued by racial tension. Sharon Weston Broome became East Baton Rouge Parish’s black woman mayor in a tough race against Mack “Bodi” White (R-La.), and won with 52 percent of the vote.

“Tonight Baton Rouge made a statement, a statement that we are a city of inclusion,” Broome said in her speech. “That we are a place of hope and optimism. A place where little boys and little girls of all walks of life know that they can grow up and lead a city no matter what their color or gender.”

“This is a dawn of a new beginning for our parish…an opportunity for us to rise from the ashes of the past six months and write a new chapter in our history,” Broome said.

On Monday, Broome held her first press conference and laid out her upcoming plans and wants to hold comprehensive searches for both the next Baton Rouge police chief and her chief administrative officer shortly after she is inaugurated on Jan. 2.

“I’m looking for the best-qualified person that will work in conjunction with my vision and the citizens’ vision for the city and parish as it relates to public safety,” Broome said.

Broome joins Senator-elect Kamala Harris (D-CA) and State Representative-elect Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as black women elected in the 2016 election cycle.

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