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The first female sheriff of Orleans Parish is also the first Black woman to hold the job in Louisiana

By Kay Jones and Alaa Elassar, CNN

Voters in New Orleans elected the first female sheriff of Orleans Parish on Saturday, upsetting a four-term incumbent.

Susan Hutson defeated Sheriff Marlin Gusman in Saturday’s runoff election. Returns from the Louisiana Secretary of State show Hutson won with 53% of the vote. Gusman had been sheriff since 2004, according to the sheriff’s website.

Hutson has also become the first Black woman to be elected sheriff in the state of Louisiana, according to CNN affiliate WGNO.

In the initial election, held in November, Gusman had a 13-point lead over Hutson, with 48% compared to her 35%. The race went to a runoff because no one earned at least 51% of the vote.

“History has been made,” Hutson said in a statement on Facebook. “I am so proud and humbled to call myself your next Sheriff. A huge thank you to all of our campaign staff, our community organizers, the religious community, nonprofits, neighbors and friends.”

“Let’s get to work,” she added.

Hutson was the independent police monitor for the New Orleans Police Department for 10 years, her campaign website says. The position was established in 2008 when Orleans Parish voters passed a referendum to establish the office responsible for overseeing changes to the city’s police department, according to its website.

Her campaign focused on criminal justice reform, which includes opposing the expansion of the parish’s jail, providing gender-confirming housing and ending the contract with the jail’s health care provider, her website states.

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