At age 35, Levar Stoney was sworn in on Saturday, December 31, 2016 as Richmond, Virginia's 80th Mayor. He is the youngest mayor the city has ever had. About 60 family members, friends and elected officials attended the private ceremony at City Hall. Stoney said the event was bittersweet because it was the five-year anniversary of the death of his father who had been instrumental in helping him get to that moment in history.

About Richmond's new mayor

The young mayor came from humble beginnings. He is the son of unwed teenage parents. He grew up in poverty, but he was the first in his family to graduate from college.

Stoney has always been driven to succeed in politics.

It has been reported that Stoney has had his eye on politics since he was in the second grade. It was at that time that he changed his dream job from becoming a meteorologist to becoming a politician. His younger brother, Marvis Stoney, now 33 tells about growing up with his brother and remembering how Levar would read books about presidents. Marvis, who is in the United States Air Force, now sees the result of his older brother's interest and determination as they were growing up in York County in Hampton Roads.

Levar and Marvis were raised by their grandmother because they were estranged from their mother. The new mayor of Richmond honored his deceased grandmother by placing his hand on her Bible when he was sworn in.

According to Virginia law, the incoming mayor must be sworn in by the end of the year even though the Oath of Office and official inauguration won't come until a few weeks later. Therefore, the transition didn't become legal until after the new year came in.

Stoney's first act as mayor

Stoney did not wait long to perform his first official act as Richmond's mayor.

Hours after he was sworn in and when the transition was legal, Stoney officiated the marriage of John Maher and Drew Thomasson on January 1, 2017. Shortly after midnight when the new year came in, Stoney performed the same-sex marriage at Maher's restaurant, The Rogue Gentleman.

It is interesting that Stoney's first act as mayor is in contrast to the belief of outgoing Mayor Dwight Jones, 68, who opposes same-sex marriages. Stoney's first act as mayor is symbolic of his belief in marriage equality.