The city of Colorado Springs made history this week by electing a Black mayor for the first time ever. Yemi Mobolade, a newcomer to the political scene, defeated Republican Wayne Williams in the traditionally conservative municipality’s mayoral runoff election Tuesday (May 16).

“We stand on a mountain of a new era in our city’s history,” Mobolade said in a triumphant victory speech Tuesday night, per CNN. “Colorado Springs will become an inclusive, culturally rich, economically prosperous safe and vibrant city on a hill that shines brightly.”

Mobolade ran as an independent in the race and is the first non-Republican to hold the office since the city began electing mayors 45 years ago. He’ll succeed Mayor John Suthers, the state’s former attorney general, in the position. Suthers endorsed Mobolade during the campaign.

In his speech after election results came in, the Nigerian-born businessman asserted that citizens of Colorado Springs want to see leadership that helps people regardless of political affiliation.

“The hunger is for a vision that transcends political party lines. The tiredness and frustration in our city and in our nation is around partisan divide and the fighting that happens,” he said, according to The Gazette. “People are just ready for a new type of leadership that puts our quality of life ahead of party politics.”

Before jumping into the mayoral race, Mobolade served as the city’s small business development administrator and the vice president of business retention and expansion for the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation. Prior to this, he co-founded the restaurants Good Neighbors Meeting House and The Wild Goose Meeting House.

Colorado Springs, the second-largest city in The Centennial State, has long been a conservative stronghold. But by electing its first non-Republican mayor in its history, residents appear ready for a change. In November 2022, the city was shaken by a mass shooting at an LGBTQ bar that claimed the lives of five locals.

Mobolade based his campaign on crime and safety as well as improving the Springs’ infrastructure and housing. Coming from a business background, he also pledged to make it a business-friendly city.