Bowie's First African-American Mayor Tim Adams Sworn Into Office - NBC4 Washington

Tracee Wilkins and the News4 team covering where you live

Bowie's First African-American Mayor Tim Adams Sworn Into Office

"There were those who said they were not comfortable with a mayor who was in a wheelchair"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bowie's First African-American Mayor Takes Office

    The people of Bowie, Maryland, made history when they elected the city's first African-American mayor. Tim Adams is the city's first new mayor in 20 years. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports Adams had to overcome some real challenges to take his place in history.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019)

    After a historic November eleciton, the city of Bowie, Maryland, has sworn in its first African-American mayor.

    Tim Adams started his first week as mayor on Monday.

    "For a lot of people going back and looking at the history of the city itself - that was significant and I embrace that," Adams told News4.

    He won 42 percent of the vote and beat out four other candidates, WTOP reported.

    But the campaign trail was a challenge for Adams, who is paraplegic. 

    "You know, it was very very difficult. I won't be [disingenuous] about that. There were many places in the city I went that was unaccessible. I went to areas where we tried to knock doors and there weren't the curb cuts there yet," Adams said.

    He said some people questioned his ability to lead.

    "There were those who said they were not comfortable with a mayor who was in a wheelchair, and my job is just to make sure that I'm a mayor for all the people now," he said.

    Adams is a successful defense contractor who founded System Application & Technologies, Inc., a multi-million dollar tech company.

    His wife, Judge Sheila Tillerson-Adams, is the administrative judge for Prince George's County. They've raised their family in Bowie for nearly 25 years.

    "I wouldn't be where I am today if it were not for the city of Bowie," Adams said.

    Adams ran on a platform promising the citizens of Bowie better development and more thoughtful planning, which he says he's already started working on in his first few days of office.