SCRANTON -- The City of Scranton elected a new mayor for the first time in 12 years. Democratic candidate Bill Courtright won the race handedly, declaring victory about an hour after the polls closed.
Bill Courtright gained enough of a lead early on that he came down to his supporters at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in the city's downtown around 9:00. At times, he got emotional thanking them for helping him get the mayor's job.
"This isn't a victory for Bill Courtright, it's a victory for the city of Scranton," he said from the podium.
Courtright's numbers surged in his neighborhood of west Scranton. He admitted he never expected a life in politics. But, after serving on City Council for four years and then as tax collector for two years, he felt he was ready to lead the city.
"I like being a public servant. And if I can turn this city around, that will be one of the greatest feats of my life," Courtright said.
Courtright's campaign promise is to right Scranton's financial wrongs and guide the city out of its distressed financial status. Courtright said it's not a feat that can be finished in four years.
But he feels like, with council's cooperation, he can start to dig Scranton out of debt.
"I think that the people of Scranton are patient. And if they can see a light at the end of the tunnel, they will be patient with me," he added.
Courtright will take office in January, replacing current Mayor Chris Doherty who is serving his third term and decided not to seek re-election.
Courtright said he wants to start by refinancing some of the city's debt.
The City of Scranton made history Tuesday night by electing a new mayor for the first time in 12 years. Bill Courtright hopes to make history too, by helping the city out of its distressed status.