First African-American woman elected as alderman in Horn Lake


Photo: WREG

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HORN LAKE, Miss. — History has been made in Horn Lake.

For the first time since the Civil War, an African-American woman has been elected to an alderman position in DeSoto County.

Democrat LaShonda Johnson defeated Republican Brian Nelson Payne on Tuesday’s June 6 election.

According to records for the Horn Lake Clerk’s Office, Johnson received 62 votes compared to Payne’s 38.

“It’s my turn to give back to a city that has given so much to me,” said Johnson

Johnson is now a Horn Lake alderman-elect representing Ward 5.

She’s made history as the first African-American woman alderman elected in DeSoto County.

Johnson said making history wasn’t even something that crossed her mind when she ran for office.

“I never thought of that, it was never a thought when I was campaigning, but what an inspiration to others. You know and I’ve been thinking about those who have come before me and who have paved the way, and there have been so many struggles to accomplish things such as this, and I’m just grateful for the examples that have gone on before me.”

Johnson is well-known in the Horn Lake community. She’s a planning commissioner, and this upcoming school year she’ll be a librarian at Horn Lake Intermediate School.

“Working better or together with everyone in the community, the schools, the parents just trying to be maybe a liaison as well between my community, my ward and things that we need to get done,” she said.

Johnson says she’s a product of DeSoto County and graduated from Horn Lake High School.

She’s looking forward to expanding her position in the city as a role model not just to African-American women but everyone in Horn Lake.

“I want to be here for my community and to help others coming along and just to be better. I want to be better at everything I do and I encourage others to be better as well,” she said.

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