SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been almost 48 hours since the polls closed Tuesday.
The results show Scranton is making history in more ways than one. Paige Cognetti is the first female to be elected to the mayor seat. Jessica Rothchild is the first openly gay councilperson to take office.
Scranton City Hall in January will be a different status quo. Mayor-elect Paige Cognetti is the first female to be elected to the mayor’s seat in the city’s more-than-163-year history.
“We’re going to do this together. This is a team effort. This is not about me. This is about the city of Scranton and I am thrilled to get to move forward,” Cognetti said.
“I’m happy for Paige as well. We both won because we’re qualified candidates who ran really great campaigns,” Rothchild said.
Rothchild is the first openly LGBTQ person to win a city council seat in the Electric City.
“I felt like I wanted to do more for my community and I’ve always felt fulfilled when I’ve been busy and helping others and this was a progression from that,” Rothchild said.
Rothchild will work closely with Cognetti once they both take office in January.
“I think it’s a great moment for Scranton and people really did want to see a change in leadership,” Rothchild said.
“Jess and I both are not only women, but we are not from here. You know she is from New Jersey. I am from Oregon. We both found amazing partners in this area and I think we are going to bring that outside perspective,” Cognetti said.
The mayor-elect says she will be starting the transition into the office soon.
“Mayor Evans and I will be sitting down next week to talk things through. We’ll continue an open dialogue and we’ll be making a transition together as he goes out and I come in,” Cognetti said.
Rothchild was elected for a four-year term as a city council member. Cognetti will be finishing out former mayor Bill Courtright’s term, which ends in 2021.