Aurora's first African American mayor sworn into office

FOX 32 NEWS - There's a new name on the door to the mayor's office in Aurora and for the first time ever, Aurora's mayor is African-American.

Richard Irvin narrowly defeated his challenger in the April election.

One woman in the audience said it best. There are no more limitations in Illinois' second biggest city.  She said if you're qualified for the job, the color of your skin doesn't matter.

Irvin made history in a historic place Tuesday night.  His swearing in ceremony took place before a packed house at the Paramount Theatre, built in 1931.

VaLarie Humphrey has known Irvin a good number of years. She says he's been helpful in speaking to children at the school where she's the principal.

"To be here tonight means a lot, I'm proud," said Humphrey.

Richard Irvin grew up in Aurora, the son of a single mom. They lived in public housing.  Tough times only made him stronger.

"I know the people at the center of Aurora. You know that sometimes you struggle, you know and live check to check, the people that wonder where their next meal's gonna come from. I've been one of those people. I've lived in that kind of environment," said Irvin.

The April election was Irvin's third attempt. Patience and persistence finally paid off.

"So when I first ran in 2005 and lost, although it hurt me, you know, I didn't want that to be the end, so I just kept working," said Irvin.

Irvin won by a slim 170 votes, but support on and off the stage Tuesday night was strong.

"I am delighted just to be here to witness this historic moment," said Congressman Danny Davis.

Among the issues facing Aurora - crime.  Irvin has said he'd like to hire an additional ten police officers.  Economic development and tourism are also big.

Mayor Irvin talked about what African-Americans have overcome in the last century. Then he looked at his grandmother's sister and told her, the win is just as much for her as it is for him.

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