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DORIS A. DAVIS: Compton’s First Black Female Mayor
By Sentinel Staff Report
Published July 3, 2014

 

Doris A. Davis earned a place in Black History and American History when she became the first African-American woman mayor of a metropolitan city in the United States in Compton in 1965.

 

The then 33-year-old Davis defeated incumbent Clyde Harland to become Compton’s first black city clerk for her first major achievement.  Then, eight years later she challenged and defeated another incumbent, Compton Mayor Douglas Dollarhide. By doing so, she became the first female African American mayor of a major metropolitan city. However, after four years as mayor she did not seek re-election.

Davis was succeeded in 1977 by another African-American, Lionel Cade, an accountant and former member of the city council, who also served only one term.

In 1986, Davis unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the California State Assembly’s, 54th District. She finished third in the Democratic primary.

Until 2013, Davis was the only female mayor in Compton’s history. On June 4, 2013, Aja Brown was elected as Compton’s 2nd female mayor and the city’s youngest mayor. In 2004, Alita Godwin became only the second Black woman to serve as Compton city clerk.

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