LEWISBURG, W.Va (WOAY) – Beverly White was born and raised in Lewisburg. And after serving 16 years on the city council, she felt the call to make a run for mayor. She also received encouragement from former Mayor John Manchester to make a run for mayor.
“John and I had a discussion about the city moving forward because he wasn’t going to run again and I said I’d do it. That I would run,” White said.
And she won by almost 300 votes, making her the first African American mayor of the city.
“It was great. First thing I did was say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for watching over us during this campaign.’ And it was really a wonderful feeling,” she said.
Like two of her new city councilors, White ran as a member of the Lewisburg Citizens’ Party.
“The party is not registered as a political party with the state. There’s really only Republican, Democrat or Independent but in the city, it’s a group of like-minded people that want to run because they like the way the city is run, and they would like to continue that and make it even better,” City Council Member Edward Johns said.
For White, moving forward means being more inclusive and strengthening the relationships that are already in place.
“Continuing our good relationship that we have with our downtown merchants, with the Lewisburg Foundation and working closely with the county entities,” White said. “It’s their job to bring in the businesses and our comprehensive plan so there are things in place for us to work with moving forward.”
White faces her first full week as mayor next week and says so far, she’s enjoying a learning process. But she says she hopes her campaign, her win and her time in office will inspire others like herself.
“It means showing other little girls that you can be whatever you want to be. Just stay to the task. Stay positive, stay true to yourself and you can do anything that you want to do,” she said.