Helena, Montana has elected Wilmot Collins, a Liberian refugee, to become the city's next Mayor.
Helena, Montana, elected a refugee from Liberia as mayor on Tuesday in a tight race in a conservative state with a history of tensions over refugees. Wilmot Collins, who arrived in Helena 23 years ago, unseated the mayor of 16 years with a progressive message. The Huffington Post and MSNBC have reported that Collins appears to be the first black mayor in Montana's history.
Wilmot Collins unseated incumbent Jim Smith in a close race Tuesday. Collins, 54, will be the city's first new mayor in 16 years after running a long campaign based in progressive principles. “The people of Helena have spoken, and I am honored to be able to serve them,” Collins said as the night drew to a close. “I intend to work with commissioners, work for the people of Helena and find what is best for this city.”
On being elected Mayor:
“I know I have a lot to get up to speed,” O’Loughlin continued, “I want to dig in early. ... I really come from the beginning wanting to learn, listening to others.”