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"

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.


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"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.

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