Yemi Mobolade, a Nigerian immigrant and businessman with no previous political experience, will make history as the first Black mayor elected in Colorado Springs, Colorado, reports the Colorado Sun. He will succeed the city's mayor John Suthers, a former federal prosecutor who reached his term limit.
An independent, Mobolade was victorious over Republican challenger Wayne Williams in the city’s runoff contest on Tuesday night.
According to the report, Mobolade had received 57% of the vote to Williams’ 43% as of 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Around 7:30 p.m., Williams conceded and wished his opponent the best.
“I knew after the runoff was set that he had a substantial lead,” Williams said. “We closed the gap, but not enough… You had a number of Republicans running against each other in the first round, beating up on each other. And that had an effect that went into the second round.”
In the general election and Tuesday’s runoff, Williams outspent and outraised Mobolade.
Known as a conservative stronghold, Colorado Springs has experienced a seismic shift in the political scene of the city after Mobolade's surprising win. Addressing his supporters, Mobolade was almost at a loss for words after his decisive victory.
“Wow,” he said to begin his victory speech. “Wow. Wow. I am speechless.”
“This is our win,” he continued. “We are Colorado Springs. It’s a new day in our beloved city. Do you believe that? Colorado Springs will become an inclusive, culturally rich, economically prosperous, safe and vibrant city.”
Democratic Governor Jared Polis congratulated Mobolade on his victory.
“Congratulations to mayor-elect Yemi Mobolade on his victory,” Polis said. “I look forward to working with the mayor-elect.”
A married father of three, Mobolade relocated to Colorado Springs in 2010, where he became a prominent entrepreneur. He co-founded two popular eateries, The Wild Goose Meeting House and Good Neighbors Meeting House. He also served as the small business development administrator of the city. He was the vice president of business retention and helped to expand the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.
Closing out his victory speech, Mobolade announced that his father passed his U.S. citizenship test just last week. “Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city,” he said.