Former St. Paul City Council member Melvin Carter III won the race for mayor Tuesday, after he notched more than 50 percent of the vote, overtaking his close rival Pat Harris by a wide margin.

Carter, 38, is the first African-American to be elected mayor of the capital city of Minnesota. “I’m thrilled. I’m elated. I’m humbled,” Carter, 38, told a crowd of more than 200 supporters Tuesday night.

According to the bio on his campaign website, Carter is a fourth-generation Saint Paul resident. A graduate from the Saint Paul Public School, Carter earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration in 2002 from Florida Agriculture & Mechanical University. He also holds a degree of Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

He lives in the city's Rondo neighborhood with his wife, Sakeena, and three of their five children. Carter’s great-grandparents came to St. Paul, fleeing racial violence in Paris, Texas, around a hundred years ago.

He is the son of a retired police officer Sgt. Melvin Carter II, who founded "Save Our Sons," a nonprofit that mentors young black males in juvenile facilities, according to a profile on His mother, Toni Carter, was a former school teacher and St. Paul School Board chair. She has served as a Ramsey County commissioner since March 2005. Both the parents were instrumental in inculcating the value of community and public service in him

As a student Carter wanted to run in the Olympics. However, his passion for civic engagement began in the year 2000, when as a college student his brother-in-law was turned away from casting an all-important Presidential election ballot in a Florida polling zone.

Since then, he has been working to employ and uplift people in Saint Paul and across the nation. He has given training to political candidates, community organizers and campaign staff in over 30 states with several national organizations, including Wellstone Action.

Carter was a legislative aide to former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman for a year before serving Ward 1 of the St. Paul City Council from January 2008 to June 2013. As city council member, he advocated some of the most critical issues pertaining in the city.

The issues included the following:

— He fought for an additional Green Line stops in Frogtown to ensure that the line worked for the neighborhood and its residents.

— He founded the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, a community collaboration to level the playing field for low-income kids and families

— Carter formed the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity .

— He redrafted the guidelines for the use of force for tasers.

— To eliminate employment discrimination against people with criminal backgrounds, he helped to pass statewide Ban the Box legislation.

— He also created the affordable housing trust fund in the city.

Carter, for his service to the community, received the 2011 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award from the National Young Elected Officials Network and was recognized in Ebony Magazine’s “30 Under 30” issue in 2008.