Irma Anderson

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Irma L. Anderson was the first African American woman elected mayor of a major California city, serving Richmond, California between 2001 and 2006, she ran for reelection as the incumbent Democrat in the 2006 mayoral race and lost to Green challenger councilperson Gayle McLaughlin by 192 votes, her term expired on November 21, 2006.

Anderson earned both RN and BSN degrees from Cornell University. She also earned an MPH at the school of public health of University of California, Berkeley and was a high school valedictorian.

Anderson came to Richmond, California with her husband, the late Rev. Booker T. Anderson Jr., in 1959. Anderson has two sons named Ahmad and Wilbert. Anderson's career changed from nursing to politics working for the Contra Costa County Health Department where she began as a nurse and advanced to Director of Public Health Nursing. As mayor, Anderson worked with the West Contra Costa Unified School District developing after-school programs throughout the city of Richmond.

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