Patrick Braxton, Black Mayor-Elect of Newbern, Alabama, Finally Instated After Legal Feud Overturned Election

In a small town tale that could be straight out of a movie, Patrick Braxton, a black volunteer firefighter, has finally won his battle to become mayor of Newbern, Alabama, almost four years after a group of white residents unfairly took the office away from him.

The Uphill Battle

It all started back in April 2020 when Braxton, aged 57, was elected mayor of Newbern, a town with just 133 residents.

His victory marked a historic moment as the first black mayor in the town’s 170-year history.

However, not everyone was ready to embrace this change.

A Town Divided

Shortly after Braxton’s election, the former town council, uncomfortable with the idea of a black mayor, held a clandestine meeting and decided to overturn the election results.

They organized a special election, re-elected themselves, and reinstated the former mayor, Haywood Stokes III.

Locked Out and Legal Battles

Braxton found himself locked out of the town hall, denied access to official accounts, and told he wasn’t the mayor.

Undeterred, he and the council members he appointed filed lawsuits and fought through the Alabama court system for years.

Victory and Moving Forward

Just before a scheduled trial in November, a settlement was reached that officially recognized Braxton as the rightful mayor and scheduled new elections.

The community welcomed the news, eager to have their voices heard through fair elections once more.

What Comes Next

Under the settlement, Braxton will resume his mayoral duties, appoint new council members, and oversee Newbern’s first competitive municipal elections in decades.

The town’s finances will be audited independently, and Braxton’s legal fees will be covered by town funds.

A Town’s Troubled Past

Newbern, located west of Selma, has a history of appointed rather than elected officials, resulting in a predominantly white government despite the town being 80% black.

This systemic imbalance was a key issue in Braxton’s legal battle.

Standing Strong

Throughout the ordeal, Braxton faced numerous challenges, from being denied access to town resources to facing personal threats and intimidation.

His resilience and determination to serve his community despite these obstacles have been inspiring.

Hope for the Future

As Newbern prepares for its new chapter under Braxton’s leadership, there is optimism for a more inclusive and fair governance system.

The settlement marks not just a legal victory but a step towards healing and unity in a town divided by its past.

In conclusion, Patrick Braxton’s journey from volunteer firefighter to mayor is a testament to perseverance in the face of injustice.

His story resonates far beyond Newbern, reminding us all of the ongoing struggle for equality and representation in local governance.

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