Let Us Breathe leader Shawnte Fleming planning run for Abilene City Council

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From left, Shawnte Fleming of Let Us Breathe, Mayor Anthony Williams and A.C. Jackson at Tuesday's opening of the "Juneteenth Cowboys" exhibit at the Taylor County Historical Commission Archive Building. When introducing Fleming, Williams indicated her interest in running for Abilene City Council.
From left, Shawnte Fleming of Let Us Breathe, Mayor Anthony Williams and A.C. Jackson at Tuesday's opening of the "Juneteenth Cowboys" exhibit at the Taylor County Historical Commission Archive Building. When introducing Fleming, Williams indicated her interest in running for Abilene City Council.

At Tuesday's Taylor County Historical Commission meeting, Shawnte Fleming was introduced by Mayor Anthony Williams as "our future Council person."

Fleming confirmed her interest after giving A.C. Jackson, curator of the "Juneteenth Cowboys" exhibit, an award for his Black community service, on behalf of the nonprofit Let Us Breathe.

"Place 3 in '23," she said later.

Place 3 currently is held by Donna Albus, who is in her second term. She has indicated no plans to seek another three-year term.

If elected, Fleming would be the 10th woman to serve on the council.

More: 'Juneteenth Cowboys,' exhibit curator A.C. Jackson honored by Taylor County historians

She said Tuesday she previously had no idea that a Black woman had not been elected. Black women have run before, most recently Dorothy Clay, who finished second in a three-candidate race to Travis Craver, who also is Black.

Here are the women who have been elected:

  • 1980: Kay Webster (first woman elected)

  • 1982: Billye Proctor

  • 1985: Betty Ray

  • 1989: Liz Herrera (first Hispanic woman, and first time two women were on the council at the same time)

  • 1995: Kay Alexander (she is longest serving woman, elected three times)

  • 1996: Carol Martinez

  • 2004: Laura Moore

  • 2011: Kellie Miller

  • 2017: Donna Albus

Note: Place 6, south side, became the woman's seat on the council. Herrera was elected to it, followed by Alexander, Moore and Miller.

This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: Abilene's Let Us Breathe leader Shawnte Fleming: 'Place 3 in '23'