Ferguson, Missouri, made history Tuesday when it elected city council member Ella Jones as its first ever black mayor.
Jones defeated Heather Robinett, one of her fellow council members, WTHR reported. Jones is succeeding James Knowles III, who is term-limited and defeated Jones in the 2017 mayoral election, and held the elected office since April 2011.
Jones will be the first black female mayor in the city’s history upon the day she is sworn in.
Jones has lived in Ferguson for more than 40 years, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri- St. Louis, and completed training in municipal leadership at the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at UMSL, according to her biography on the Ferguson City website.
Jones also serves as a pastor at the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves on the boards of the Emerson Family YMCA and the St. Louis MetroMarket.
As a council member, she served on the landmarks, human rights, traffic, senior citizens, West Florissant Business Association, and parks boards.
Knowles served as Ferguson’s mayor for nine years, including the weeks of unrest the city went through in 2014 when Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
The U.S. Department of Justice and a grand jury declined to prosecute the officer, who later resigned from the police force.