DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The City of Darlington was founded in 1835. That’s 181 years ago, and in that time, the city has not had a female or an African American to serve as mayor.
Tuesday night, that all changed.
After two rounds of voting, a tie in the run-off, and two re-counts in November, people in Darlington elected a new mayor, but Tuesday night, history was made.
More than 100 people attended the moment Gloria Hines was sworn in as Mayor of Darlington.
Hines is the first female and the first African American to be elected Mayor of Darlington, but she says this isn’t about her gender or her race. She says she was elected because of her work ethic.
“It is my passion to help people. Every time I say I want to quit, the Lord tells me to ‘go on to keep going, your journey’s not over yet’,” said Hines.
Hines says her journey has been an emotional one, and now she has one message for the people of Darlington.
“You expect great things from me, and I expect great things from you. Let us turn towards each other and not on each other,” said Hines.
This week, Hines says she plans to meet with South Carolina State Senator Gerald Malloy to talk about bringing more industry to Darlington.
She says brining more jobs to Darlington is one of her major goals as mayor.
The City of Darlington will hold an election for the Ward 1 seat left vacant as Hines takes the seat as Mayor. The seat must remain open for 13 weeks from the time of her resignation.
Election Day will be Tuesday, April 5. Those who live in Ward 1 may vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. that day.
Filing for candidates opens at noon February 5 and closes at noon February 19. That will take place at City Hall, 400 Pearl Street.
For more information, contact the Darlington County Election Commission at (843)398-4900 or City Manager Howard Garland at (843)398-4000.