Melissa Elliot has made history as the first woman and the first Black person to be elected mayor in one North Carolina city after residents voted for her in November’s election.

According to ABC 11, Elliot defeated her opponent, Greg Etheridge, and officially became the next mayor to represent Henderson, North Carolina.

Mayor-elect Elliot will be sworn into office in January and said it was an “honor” to hold the groundbreaking position.

“It’s an honor to me for the shoulders that I’m standing on,” Elliot told ABC11.

She recalled her mother, grandmothers, Rev. William Clayton and several other family members taking to the polls in Henderson to make this historic moment possible.

“So many people poured into my life for this journey,” Elliott said. “And it started 18 years ago when I moved back to Henderson to buy my house. So I’m excited of the shoulders that I’m standing on.”

The city has a population of about 15,000 people in Vance County and has a reputation for shootings and high crime. However, Elliot hopes to use her position to create a positive future for her constituents.

“This is not about Melissa. But it’s about a community,” she said. “I think my job is to be the connector, right? And to sell our city to developers. And to come in because Henderson is really a great place to live. And because I’ve lived on the other side of the track … I think I’m the greatest photo child, if you will, to make that happen for others.”

WIZS reported that former Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington announced over the summer that he would not run for a third term. Though he faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellington helped with the city’s $79.6 million expansion of the regional water system and renovation of the local fire station.

“Looking back, I have devoted the past eight years and two terms to ensure a brighter future while establishing a broad range of relationships on the state and federal level across both sides of the aisle,” Ellington said in a statement obtained by WIZS.