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Gary May Soon Have First Black Female Mayor In State

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A voter casts a ballot during early voting. (AP Photo)

A voter casts a ballot during early voting. (AP Photo)

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GARY, Ind. (CBS/WBBM) – The primary election for mayor in Gary, Ind., Tuesday has set the stage for possible Indiana election history.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Indiana is on the verge of having its first-ever African-American woman as mayor of a city.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Karen Freeman-Wilson easily won the Democratic primary election for mayor of Gary Tuesday. To make history, she will have to defeat Republican Charles S. Smith Jr. in the November election.


LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Felicia Middlebrooks Talks With Karen Freeman-Wilson

History is on Freeman-Wilson’s side. No Republican has won the race for mayor of Gary since 1939.

Freeman-Wilson was a Gary city judge when then-Gov. Frank O’Bannon appointed her attorney general in early 2000. She lost her bid for a full term later that year.

Current Mayor Rudy Clay decided not to run for reelection, as he is battling prostate cancer.

Meanwhile in neighboring Hobart, Ind., Mayor Brian Snedecor easily beat back a challenge from former Mayor Linda Buzinec.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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