Steve Benjamin elected as Columbia's first black mayor

Columbia attorney Steve Benjamin defeated city councilman Kirkman Finlay III in a heated runoff election to become the first black mayor in Columbia's history.

Benjamin, known as one of the rising stars of the South Carolina Democratic Party, won the mayoral runoff receiving 56 percent of votes. Voters were passionate about this race, with an unexpected 2,000 more voters coming out to the polls yesterday than the record-setting 17,137 who voted April 6.

In an excerpt from The State, Benjamin is quoted as saying:

“The people of Columbia spoke, and together we made history. We made history today, not because of race. We made history because people responded to a message of unity, hope and promise. We are one city. One Columbia.”

The State has a lengthy article and video on yesterday's election results.

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