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Paige Cognetti Sworn In as Scranton’s First Female Mayor

SCRANTON, Pa. — History was made Monday afternoon as Scranton’s first female mayor was sworn in. Mayor Paige Cognetti won a special election after t...

SCRANTON, Pa. -- History was made Monday afternoon as Scranton's first female mayor was sworn in.

Mayor Paige Cognetti won a special election after the resignation of the city's former mayor amid a public corruption scandal.

A lot has changed politically in the city of Scranton since July when former mayor Bill Courtright pleaded guilty to public corruption charges.

The city has had two mayors since, including the city's first woman at the helm.

Hundreds were on for that historic moment Monday afternoon.

With an oath of office unlike any other in Scranton's 130-year history, Paige Cognetti became the Electric City's first female mayor.

Earlier in the day, a new city council was formed swearing in two new members, including the city's first openly gay elected official Jessica Rothchild.

"(It) kind of leaves me speechless, it really is the start of something big. We can really turn things around here in Scranton, and I'm looking forward to all the work we can get done together," Rothchild said.

"The women that are in these leadership roles are deserving of them and have the experience to back up their candidacies, and I think their leadership moving forward, I'm honored to be a part of it," said Mayor Paige Cognetti.

Mayor Cognett's inauguration comes just a few weeks after the birth of her first child, a baby girl. It also comes only six months after political scandal in the city. Many saw Cognetti's election as a swing away from the political establishment in Scranton.

Cognetti is not a native of the city and comes to the mayor's office after a brief stint on the school board and in state government.

At the end of the ceremony, the city's temporary mayor for the past six months, Wayne Evans, handed Mayor Cognetti the keys to city hall.

She says she'll be back first thing in the morning.

"Tomorrow's kind of my comfort zone. Tomorrow is being in a government building with a schedule and an office and staff, starting to schedule meetings and meet with the team. I'm excited to go to the team in City Hall, go out to the firehouses, the roll calls in the police department, and start to meet everyone. I've been really eager to meet folks and get to know them," said the mayor.

During her inaugural address, Mayor Cognetti mentioned one of the first things she'll tackle. She says the city has been awarded a state grant for $100,000 to upgrade technology and security in city buildings.