Lorraine Borowski

Voters in the northeast Iowa city of Decorah have elected their first-ever female mayor.

Lorraine Borowski received nearly 70-percent of the vote on Tuesday, defeating long-time Decorah city council representative Gary Rustad.

“I’m just thrilled at the results and I look forward to the work that we’re going to have ahead of us,” Borowski says. “I’m honored to be in the position.”

Borowski served for 16 years as the director of the Decorah Public Library and spent 20 years attending city council meetings which she videotaped for public access broadcasts.

The city, founded in 1851, has always had male mayors in the past and the historic significance of this election isn’t lost on Borowski.

“It does mean a lot to me because it’s an example of what anybody can do if they decide to put their foot forward,” she says.

Borowski will replace Don Arendt, who is retiring as Decorah’s mayor after 12 years. Arendt served on the Decorah city council for nine years prior to his term as mayor.

By Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah