MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Paul Young has declared victory as the next Mayor of Memphis.

Young faced 16 challengers in the mayoral election, including Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, NAACP President Van Turner, and former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

“I believe in our city. I believe in Memphis. I believe in every one of you,” Young said in a victory speech just before 10 p.m. Thursday. “Whether you’re in this room or watching on TV. I believe that we can be better. In fact, I know that we’re going to be better.” 

Current Memphis mayor Jim Strickland congratulated Young Thursday night.

“Congratulations Paul Young! Your many years of public service will benefit you at city hall,” Strickland said. “I look forward to working with you and your team as you prepare to become mayor on January 1.”

Young is currently the president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission. He previously served as the director of the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development and administrator of the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development.

“We only wrote one speech because we believe we are going to be victorious., and what people will hear from me is a unifying message,” Young said Thursday. “The same message we have communicated throughout this campaign that Memphis is stronger together. All parts of our city no matter what your background is, orientation, partisanship, we are all team Memphis.”