For the first time in its history, Vermont’s largest city elected a woman mayor. Progressive candidate Emma Mulvaney-Stanak bested longtime city councilor and Democrat Joan Shannon to become Burlington’s next leader.

Mulvaney-Stanak runs a social change consulting business and is a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. She’s also previously served on the Burlington City Council.

"We not only have a woman mayor after 159 years, we have the first openly LGBTQ+ mayor," Mulvaney-Stanak said as she celebrated with her supporters Tuesday night.

The mayoral race was dominated by one issue: public safety. In recent years there’s been a surge in homelessness, more visible drug use, and an uptick in some types of crime, like vehicle break-ins and gunfire incidents.

Mulvaney-Stanak’s approach on public safety focused on addressing broader systemic issues — like poverty, addiction, and homelessness. She supports bolstering the city’s police force, but she doesn’t think adding officers alone will solve Burlington’s problems.

Speaking to her supporters Tuesday night, Shannon asked her supporters to support Mulvaney-Stanak.

“Our commitment is not just to the campaign, but to moving Burlington forward, so let’s offer our ‘all hands on deck’ to Emma,” Shannon said, referencing her campaign slogan.

This article will be updated.

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