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Government, Politics & Issues

First Black Township Supervisor In Madison County Sworn In

 Mark Crochrell Sr. shakes Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming Mendoza's hand after being sworn into the Venice Township Supervisor role. Crochrell is the first Black township supervisor in Venice and Madison County.
Eric Schmid
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Mark Crochrell Sr. shakes Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming Mendoza's hand after being sworn in as Venice Township supervisor. Crochrell is the first Black township supervisor in Venice and Madison County.

Madison County and Venice Township have a Black township supervisor for the first time in their collective history after swearing in the township board on Monday.

Mark Crochrell Sr., who won the supervisor position in last month’s election, beamed as he raised his right hand to take the oath of office.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “Very excited about how the whole night went and being able to take the office.”

Crochrell was part of a slate of Black candidates from across the Metro East who won their respective elections, often against longtime white incumbents. He unseated Andrew Economy, who had been Venice Township supervisor since 1993.

“We really want to graduate into the 21st century,” Crochrell said. “We want to be able to bring plenty of resources and be able to serve the community.”

Also sworn in on Monday were Township Clerk Gussie Glasper, Trustees Marie Nelson, DeWanda Crochrell (Mark’s sister), Roshelle Williams-Gardner and John Cortez Williams and Highway Commissioner Sean Mosby. All but two ran together.

All of the newly sworn-in officials have been active in the community for years and now have the chance to augment that work with the power of local government, Crochrell said.

“To be able to continue what we’ve been doing, now we have a support system,” he said. “We can come with the township and explore other avenues.”

Community and youth development are priorities for the new leaders as well as senior services and mental health work. Crochrell stressed his goal is for Venice Township to grow in population, resources and opportunity.

He also noted the historical significance of the night and gave credit to those who got him and his team there.

“The people voted this in — our whole team,” he said. “The people that were here tonight, we’re going to work hard for them.”

Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricDSchmid

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