FREEDOM — Nadine Padezanin took the reins as borough mayor on Monday, the first time a woman has done so in Freedom’s recorded history.
The 40-year-old Freedom resident, mother and businesswoman launched a write-in campaign as a Republican in May against Democrat Louis Armstrong, who took over for former Mayor Arthur Evans Jr. Padezanin beat Armstrong 59.6% to 40.4% in November.
Alongside existing borough council members, Padezanin will join Sydney Paige Kaercher, Eric Climo and John Kaercher, all of whom won their election bids last year.
“I think we need more young people to get involved and, hopefully, make a change for Freedom,” Padezanin said before a swearing-in ceremony. She will lead a community of just 1,500 people.
Padezanin hopes her win motivates people like her daughter to eventually become active in politics, noting her first priority is making much-needed improvements to outdoor walkways throughout area schools.
Feeling the “old ways” of running the borough were no longer working, Padezanin said she plans to make Freedom a more welcoming place for young families.
“Being the first female mayor is unbelievable,” she said. “I think that having my daughter see me take leadership and really make a difference means the world to me. More people need to make that leap...Overall, we need a voice for the community.”