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Republican Chris Frye makes history as the first black mayor of New Castle

WTAE Pittsburgh logo WTAE Pittsburgh 11/7/2019

History has been made in New Castle, Lawrence County. The city has elected its first black mayor, who crossed racial and party lines for the win.

A grassroots campaign ended in the historic win for Chris Frye.

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Erin Prowell, who lives in New Castle, said, "He is going to make the change. We needed a Chris Frye."

"Chris has that quality and leadership ability that you don't find in many other men or young women around this area," said resident David Ward.

The Republican is now mayor-elect of New Castle, which is a city where a Democrat has held that title for more than a decade.

Frye said, “It's definitely historic and the best part of it, is it shows change. It shows that we are really committed to change."

Frye said it took a lot of hard work and he listened to all types of people about what the city needs.

Frye said, "A lot of racial lines, age lines, class lines."

To the people in New Castle, Frye breaking through barriers is a huge leap into the future.

Prowell said she cried when she got the news he won.

Ward said, “I would have never thought we would see our first black President back in 2008 and now we are in 2019 and 2020 and New Castle, Pa. got its first black mayor."

Frye is also one of youngest mayors to be elected in the city.

He said he used social media to get peoples' attention and now that he has it, he plans on fighting for them.

“I'm optimistic and I'm excited," said Frye.

Frye said there will be challenges with his upcoming term.

Fyre said he wants to streamline the budget, bring business and jobs back, tackle the blight problem and modernize technology.

"I think one of our niches will be agriculture, looking at our green spaces, our landscape, how to utilize it more and make it a healthier environment. We are still operating on a level like we're in an industrial community," said Frye.

Fyre says in four years, he plans to focus on his goals and make the people of New Castle proud.

Frye said, “We want to get New Castle back on the map. We don't want to see it fail."

Fyre said it was a rough campaign. He says he wants people who voted for him and his opponent to come together and make the city the best place it can be.

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