By Ashley Moss
Michael Evans was sworn in on Monday [January 11th] as mayor of the city of Mansfield, the first Black elected to the position in the city’s 131-year history.
Evans succeeded former mayor David Cook, who vacated the seat after 12 years of service to run for the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 96 and assumes office on January 12, 2021.
Judge Clifford Davis, the Black attorney who filed a federal lawsuit to desegregate the Mansfield Independent School District, administered the oath to Evans during Monday’s city council meeting.
“You have a person who has demonstrated what the founders of our nation talked about in the Declaration of Independence,” said Davis.
“He brings a spirit of dedication to promote the general welfare of the community,” he added. “You are fortunate to have someone with that dedication.”
Judge Davis also served as a district court judge in Tarrant County in 1983 and served on the bench until 1988.
Trailblazer Evans won the mayoral seat in a runoff election in December, after defeating challenger Brent Newsom with 53 percent of the vote.
The newly sworn-in mayor, who also serves as senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church on 1188 W Broad Street, said he was grateful that the city’s residents believed he has what it takes to lead a “21st Century Mansfield.”
“It’s good to be judged by our character as opposed to the color of our skin,” he said in an interview with Texas Metro News Monday, citing the city’s common perspective and outlook for the future.
Evans said he plans to focus on helping Mansfield continue to grow in his first term.“Great days are still ahead,” Evans said. “Now is the time for us to keep pressing forward.”
Mayor Evans also administered oaths of service to new Council Member Tamera Bounds (Place 2) and Mayor Pro Tem Julie Short. The other members of the seven-member council include Mike Leyman (Place 3), Casey Lewis (Place 4), Todd Tonore (Place 6) and Larry Broseh (Place 7).