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Bridgeport elected its first black mayor. Then the town divided.

October 12, 2018

By Staff

Some days, just for a moment, Mark Barbee thinks about quitting, about stepping aside as Bridgeport’s mayor and extricating himself from the divisiveness that has marked his first nine months in office.

Since Barbee took over in January as the first African American and the first openly gay mayor of a town where nearly 80 percent of the residents are white, council meetings have devolved into heated arguments, the police chief has stepped down, two council members have resigned, and Barbee has received death threats on social media. By all accounts, the borough is divided.

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