William A. Johnson, Jr.

William A. Johnson, Jr.

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William A. Johnson, Jr.

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William A. "Bill" Johnson, Jr. was the first African-American elected mayor of the City of Rochester, New York. Elected in November 1993, Johnson was the 64th mayor of the city and was re-elected in 1997 and 2001. Although he received 78% of the votes in 2001, he announced that he would not seek a fourth term, and was succeeded in 2006 by former Rochester Police Chief, and current New York State Lieutenant-Governor, Robert Duffy. In 2003 Johnson ran unsuccessfully for Monroe County Executive. Johnson was defeated in a landslide by former television newswoman, County Legislator and County Clerk Maggie Brooks. He won only the city of Rochester, and the heavily Democratic town of Brighton by 200 votes. Johnson's advocacy of metropolitan government in the County proved to be unpopular in the suburbs, leading to Johnson's defeat by a 2 to 1 margin. The debate over whether to consolidate local government functions for the purposes of efficiency and tax savings, which Johnson made one of the cornerstones of his regional public policy initiatives, continues today.

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1942, Johnson was educated at Howard University where he received both his bachelor's, master's and three honorary degrees. He was the deputy executive director of the Flint, Michigan Urban League and director of the National Urban League Voter Registration Project. He also taught political science at Mott Community College.

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