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‘I was qualified, and I happen to be female’: St. George’s first female mayor shares top priorities

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) — After serving on the city council for 7 years, Michele Randall is now navigating her new role as the first female mayor in St. George.

“From 1861 when the pioneers first came here to today, it’s taken that long to have a female mayor,” Randall told ABC4 News. “It’s humbling, but it’s also an honor. I’m excited to get to work.”

A mother of four and a grandmother of nine, Randall has lived in St. George since 1978, moving to the area as a 7th grader back when the population was only about 10,000.

As one of the now fastest-growing areas in the nation, she says she’ll strive to maintain a safe and clean environment and focus on several key issues from attainable housing to water access. Above all, she asks that her community remains kind to one another, after witnessing such “divisiveness” on social media.

“Remember when people used to sit outside on their front porch and get to know their neighbors? I want us to maintain that small-town feel even as we grow,” Randall said.

The interim mayor says a few difficult personal experiences have led her to become an established and emerging leader. Learning the challenges of running a small business, her family ran an ambulance service for 14 years before losing their license to another company in 2013. Then in 2016, her brother died by suicide — an experience she made public as she works to reduce the stigma attached to mental health. In 2019, she survived breast cancer, aggressive lobular carcinoma, and she now works to be a champion of women’s health.

“Citizens want their elected officials to be that conduit between them and city hall, and I’ve tried so hard over the past seven years to do that and I will continue to do so,” Randall said. “I think my city council members respected that and knew I could be a strong leader.”

Randall has committed to running for a full term as mayor in the November municipal election — but asks the city to look beyond her gender.

“I was qualified, and I happened to be a female,” Randall said.

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