Former Durham Mayor Bill Bell introduced his political mentee as O'Neal arrived to this room full of supporters -- including the Durham County sheriff and district attorney.
O'Neal spoke about the big challenges she faces when she takes office -- including the rise in crime. This former district and superior court judge talked about improving the partnership with the sheriff's office and the DA to solve the issue of gun violence "street by street."
She said Durham neighborhoods should not feel like war zones.
But O'Neal's victory speech was also about the moment: the history she made for Black women; about uniting the city. She talked about gratitude.
ELECTION NIGHT HISTORY IN DURHAM— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) November 3, 2021
“Together you have given me the honor and trust of being your next mayor — the first Black woman mayor of Durham.”
The city’s next mayor greets supporters after her general election win becomes official. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/TzqEOpF0Yk
"Grateful, just grateful to be the next mayor of our fine city -- Durham, North Carolina," O'Neal said. "Standing here with you tonight I am thinking of the many challenges and opportunities ahead. I'm truly motivated by how much we can and will accomplish when we all come and work together to make Durham a city that works for all of us."
Elaine O'Neal celebrated Tuesday night and mapped out a way forward for tomorrow.
She'll be sworn in as Durham mayor on Dec. 7.