“I think she’ll continue to earn it.” —- overheard at the swearing in.
Julia Fahl became mayor of Lambertville, NJ, today in an afternoon ceremony at the Lambertville Justice Center. Flanked by her wife Kari Osmond, the new mayor took her oath wearing her trademark Bindle and Keep suit. Burgundy today, plus a special boutineer befitting a special occasion.
There was the Pledge of Allegiance followed by an a capella version of the Star Spangled Banner. Everyone looked happy. Eubuellant, really.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman was on hand to deliver the new mayor’s oath of office. And a pep talk. Lots of applause. And a rousing ovation.
And then, the Mayor spoke.
“Thank you to my wife Kari, for her love and support throughout each phase of this campaign and transition,” Mayor Fahl told a packed house. “On days where It felt easier to become jaded or regretful, she has encouraged me and challenged me to move forward with an open heart and optimism. Thank you, I love you. It is a great honor to be here in front of you today as the Mayor of Lambertville. As you can imagine, I am feeling a lot of emotions. I’m proud. I’m excited. I’m pretty nervous. And I feel love.“
Mayor Fahl scored a major upset last spring when she defeated long-time incumbent mayor Dave DelVecchio. An astonishing 77% of registered Lambertville voters had their say in a bruising, generational battle won comfortably in the end by the newcomer.
Mayor Fahl’s strategic acumen and toughness helped the democrats flip the 7th Congressional district on election day. She campaigned tough and smart and with steely resilience.
The festive crowd was buoyed by mild 53° weather. Maybe came directly from brunch. Some came from church. Or at least they dressed like it.
Many in attendance were from NJ’s queer community, on hand to see one of their own sworn into office to lead a notably progressive, LGBT-friendly town. How friendly? Today Beth Asaro became council president with her wife in attendence. Also, Lambertville, population 3,550, has its own pride parade in mid-May, co-hosted with New Hope, PA, just across the bridge.
Reed Gusciora is mayor of Trenton.
“This makes history for Julia and fits into the quirkiness that is Lambertville,” Mayor Gusciora told InsiderNJ. “This city will be a draw for all sorts and will rival New Hope. I believe Julia’s in the best position to do ensure that.”
The outgoing mayor DelVecchio cemented his place in the annals when he performed one of NJ’s first gay weddings. He helped make history then but didn’t make the trip today to watch his successor take the oath. That seems weird. I don’t know what protocol demands, but DelVecchio should have put aside whatever side-salad drama he’s got going on to come bear witness.
Those in attendance where effusive for what new leadership means for Lambertvile. The looks on their faces told the story.