READING, Pa. - Reading's voters have spoken. They want Eddie Moran to be their next mayor.
Moran, a Democrat, declared victory over his Republican opponent, Lou Perugini, in a speech seen live on 69-WFMZ-TV and WFMZ.com about 90 minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night.
Moran's win makes him the first Latino mayor of Pennsylvania's fifth-largest city.
"My victory today is bigger than me and every individual in this room," Moran said in addressing a crowd of supporters gathered in the ballroom of the Abraham Lincoln in center city. "Tonight, we become pioneers, and by standing on the shoulders of others before me, we are setting a new path forward for Latino leadership for decades to come."
Moran will replace one-term incumbent Wally Scott, whom he defeated in May's primary election.
"I will be bringing positive change to the city, not some cheap slogan," Moran said in referring to Scott's slogan. "A city of positive change."
Moran was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York before moving to Reading 12 years ago. He has been on the Reading School Board for the last six years, currently serving as its vice president.
Moran said he looks forward to building synergy between City Hall on one side of Washington Street and the school district's administration building on the other.
"We can't move forward as a city without working hand in hand with the Reading School District," Moran said. "I look forward to building a strategic partnership with my soon-to-be former colleagues on the Reading School Board, because the future of our city sits in the classrooms of our schools."
Moran said his time on the school board has provided him with the experience of managing a $300-million budget, working with other elected officials, and building relationships on all levels of government.
Nearly two-thirds of Reading's 90,000 residents are Latino, according to U.S. census data.