Salem County swears in first African American female mayor

Posted: Updated:

A woman in Salem County made history New Year’ Day when she was sworn in as mayor, along with other newly elected officials in Penns Grove.

Thomas' predecessor, Democrat John Washington, served as mayor for the past 15 years.

Thomas won the 2019 election as an independent.

"I want people to know that I’m ambitious, I’m honest and I’m a fighter,” said Thomas. “And the same passion that I had while I was running has been amplified by 10 now."

Thomas also marked a milestone as the first African American female to hold the title of mayor in the borough's 125-year history.

“…To know that I’m the first African American female to elected as mayor and all of Salem County, New Jersey, it's just incredible to me,” she says.

Thomas says her first motion as mayor is to bring about new development, address abandoned properties and fix the streets.

Two council members, Mike Bercute and Carol Mincey were also sworn in.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your April 2020 Super Pink Moon Photos

    Your April 2020 Super Pink Moon Photos

    This week's Super Pink Moon is the biggest full moon of 2020. Did you see it? Share your photos with us.
    This week's Super Pink Moon is the biggest full moon of 2020. Did you see it? Share your photos with us.
  • Your Breath of Fresh Air Photos

    Your Breath of Fresh Air Photos

    In these trying times, we can all use a breath of fresh air every once in a while. News 12 wants to see your scenic photos while you get your breath of fresh air.
    In these trying times, we can all use a breath of fresh air every once in a while. News 12 wants to see your scenic photos while you get your breath of fresh air.
  • PHOTOS: The Impact of coronavirus around the world

    PHOTOS: The Impact of coronavirus around the world

    CoronavirusCoronavirus
    CoronavirusCoronavirus
    These photos capture scenes around the world as countries cope with the outbreak.
    These photos capture scenes around the world as countries cope with the outbreak. 
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."