Savannah elects 1st black woman to serve as mayor

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Mayor Pro Tem Edna Jackson was elected Savannah's mayor with 56.12 percent or 10,822 votes and Councilman Jeff Felser has 43.88 percent or 8,460 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Tom Bordeaux has 57.05 percent or 10,822 votes and opponent Clinton Young had 42.95 percent or 7,752 votes.

Barry Brown was the top vote getter with 55.22 percent of the votes over incumbent Bill Garbett who had 44.78 percent of the votes.

Jackson has served on the council for 12 years and is a former college administrator. As a teenager, she joined some of Savannah's earliest civil rights protests.

"I am excited. It was all these people here who helped me win. It is a tremendous win and I am still being positive. This is what made me win, all the people in this room and all the residents of Savannah," Edna Jackson.

Jackson has promised to serve as a peacemaker after a tumultuous four years at City Hall. Her campaign was supported by many of Savannah's black ministers as well as its white business leaders.

"I want to first congratulate Mayor Elect Edna Branch Jackson, she obviously ran a very fine race. I want to thank the city of Savannah for giving me the honor of serving them as Alderman at Large the last 8 years," said Jeff Felser.

Jackson will succeed term-limited Mayor Otis Johnson when she takes office in January.

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.