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Bergen County swears in its first African-American sheriff

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HACKENSACK -

Bergen County has sworn in its first African-American sheriff.

County officials swore in Anthony Cureton Tuesday after he won a special election.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal administered the oath to Cureton at a ceremony on the steps of the Bergen County Justice Center in Hackensack.

RELATED: Projected winner decided to replace former Bergen County sheriff

Former Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino resigned after a recording surfaced of him making racist comments, particularly about Grewal. Saudino was heard saying that Grewal, a practicing Sikh, only got the attorney general job because of his turban.

Saudino was not directly mentioned during the ceremony Tuesday, but Grewal praised the men and women of the sheriff’s office for keeping the department together during a rocky time.

Cureton said that the demographics were not in his favor and that although there were many naysayers, he won the election.

"Two weeks ago the spirit of Bergen County burned bright and your voices silenced those who said today is impossible,” Cureton said. "I think we'll make the community better than what it is, has been and the community that I love so dearly because I've been here 50 years."

Cureton will serve a full three-year term

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