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Monday, June 24, 2013 - 11:50pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Monday evening was a historic day for El Paso.
After eight years under John Cook, Oscar Leeser was sworn in as mayor in front of hundreds of attendees at the Plaza Theatre downtown.
"Judge, thank you very much. He promised to go slow on those words but got carried away there for a minute," joked Mayor Leeser with the crowd, after he took the oath.
He may have opened with a joke, but Leeser's inaugural speech soon took a more sincere turn.
After months of tireless campaigning, there were three things Leeser emphasized as priorities during his tenure.
"Not one man can do anything. But all of us together will make a great city, and we'll continue to surround ourselves with the proper people and the right people," said Leeser.
Unity in his government, honesty, trust, and transparency in his office, and donating 100% of his income to charity were the three things Leeser named as priorities.
"It's something that's important to my wife and I. So, we're really looking forward to seeing the smiles on people's faces when we hand over the check," said Leeser.
Monday's celebrations included swearing in new city representatives, as well.
Emma Acosta and Carl Robinson were sworn in to serve new terms in Districts 3 and 4.
Lily Limon was named the new representative for District 7.
"We're all going to work as a team. We're all going to be focused on the right direction -- not split up, not alliances, but simply looking out for the best in the city," said Limon at the inauguration today.
Larry Romero took an oath to serve as the new representative for District 2, and knew right away what his top priority in office would be.
"The budget is probably going to be the biggest one right now," said Romero.
As for Leeser, he said he'll get to work immediately tomorrow, but said he enjoyed Monday's celebrations nonetheless.
"Really, it was just kind of the final touch to a great day," said Leeser.
We spoke with El Pasoans to try and find out if they're excited by the change in city government.
Many locals admitted they don't know a lot about Leeser, or the new city reps, but say they're just excited to have some new ideas in City Hall.
And while the construction of the new ballpark has been controversial, locals said they hope the new mayor has what it takes to help El Paso continue to grow.