City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell made history last night becoming New Orleans' first woman mayor after winning a heavily contested race. 

Cantrell will succeed fellow Democrat Mitch Landrieu, who has served as mayor for two terms. Her victory is highlighted by the fact that the city will also celebrate its 300th anniversary next year in existence. 

“Almost 300 years, my friends. And New Orleans, we’re still making history,” Cantrell told a cheering crowd in her victory speech.

In a race with 18 candidates, former municipal Judge Desiree Charbonnet and Cantrell led the field during an October general election to win runoff spots. Saturday's victory came as 60 percent of the voting returns forced Charbonnet to concede.

“I do not regret one moment of anything about this campaign,” Charbonnet said. Cantrell did not appear out of thin air; she has been a force in New Orleans since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

As an activist, she spearheaded a recovery initiative after Katrina ravaged the hard-hit Broadmoor neighborhood. Although she is not a native of the city, Cantrell moved to the city from California and became a major voice for the people. Her work as a neighborhood activist helped her win a seat on the city council in 2012.

That commitment translated to five years of public service. And one of Cantrell's priorities for the city has been housing affordability and equity in New Orleans. She has tried to make rent and homeownership a reality for all as costs have dramatically increased for all demographics over the past few years. 

Her job as mayor will be one filled with challenges. She will have to deal with rising crime rates and the issues regarding drinking water and storm drainage, per the Associated Press

"I believe that by focusing on the people of New Orleans, listening to them and respecting their dreams for their families and their neighborhoods, we can become a strong, great and vibrant city, " she said.

Congrats to her for a historic win! 

Photo: Giphy