Democrat Deb Whitfield will be the new City of Lawrence mayor following the Nov. 7 election, leading a Democratic sweep of Lawrence elected positions.
Republican David Hofmann — former Chief of the Lawrence Police Department and deputy mayor to outgoing Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier — conceded early in the evening.
Whitfield said in a telephone interview that she is grateful to Hofmann for running a great race.
“We are very excited with this victory,” she said. “We want to move forward and unite this city. We want to be inclusive of all of Lawrence.”
Whitfield has served on the Lawrence Common Council as an at-large representative. She works at Community Health Network as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director of Community Outreach and Engagement, but has said she will resign to be a full-time mayor.
Whitfield said the Democratic sweep of Lawrence elected offices is also exciting. She credited teamwork for the success of the Democratic candidates’ campaigns.
“The team worked very hard to achieve that,” she said. “It’s time to move forward to build relationships, partnerships and listen to the community that we serve.”
Whitfield said her first step will be to establish a transition team that will represent all of Lawrence. She said she is humbled and honored to move forward as the new Lawrence mayor in January.
“I don’t take this opportunity lightly,” she said.
John McCarty, 18, was among the voters who chose Democratic candidates on Election Day. The Lawrence resident said it was his first time voting, and he was excited about the opportunity.
“I hope a lot of other young people turn out,” he said outside the Lawrence North High School voting location. “Based on polls, it seems like a lot of young people are turning out, but I just hope that continues.”
McCarty said he voted for Democratic candidates because their policies are more in line with his own values.
Hofmann did not return messages seeking comment before deadline for this story.