SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Voters in Louisiana’s third-largest city have elected a Republican mayor for the first time in 28 years.
Tom Arceneaux, 71, won a runoff election Saturday to become the next mayor of Shreveport. He defeated Louisiana state Sen. Greg Tarver, a Black Democrat, in a city where roughly 55% of registered voters are African American.
Arceneaux and Tarver were the top two finishers in the November mayoral election, but neither won a majority of the vote, the Shreveport Times reported. That forced them into a monthlong runoff campaign.
A restorer of historic homes who served on the Shreveport City Council in the 1980s, Arceneaux got a major boost during the runoff when he was endorsed by outgoing Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and the city’s two previous mayors. All three of them are Black Democrats.
“You know, we have tonight looked beyond historical barriers and distinctions,” Arceneaux told supporters in a victory speech Saturday. ”We have a new future in the city of Shreveport, it will look different from what it did in the past.”
Perkins said he was backing Arceneaux because he questioned Tarver’s honesty and integrity, the Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. Former Mayor Ollie Tyler said Tarver had cast votes in the state Senate that were harmful to Shreveport, a city of 184,000 people.
In a concession speech, Tarver pledged to work with Arceneaux in helping Shreveport move forward, KSLA-TV reported.
“Anything that I can do or my family can do to help Tom run this city, we will support him all the way,” Tarver said.
Shreveport elected its last Republican mayor, Bo Williams, in 1994. He served a single term and left office in 1998.