By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An elected official from South Jersey is breaking barriers in Atlantic County politics. Eyewitness News reporter Matt Petrillo is introducing you to the next Mayor of Pleasantville.

“The important thing is getting the job done,” Judy Ward said.

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Credit: CBS3

Judy Ward is making history as Pleasantville’s first woman-elected mayor.

“I never ran with the intention of saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to make history.'”

After Ward is sworn in next month, she’ll also be the first Black female mayor elected in all of Atlantic County.

“Now that it’s actually happened in the same year as Kamala Harris as our first woman of color for Vice President, I feel honored to be stepping on the same ticket with her,” Ward said.

Ward has served as a Pleasantville City Councilmember for 15 years.

Now, as mayor-elect, she’s working on her first-year agenda which includes reducing crime, improving the perception of Pleasantville and finishing a redevelopment project on the city’s waterfront area called Lake Bay.

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“We call it the best kept secret in South Jersey and we’re doing development there, a $30m project,” Ward said. “I’ve been able to help people and that’s what it’s all about.”

Jesse Tweedle is Pleasantville’s outgoing mayor, after serving in the position for 12 years.

His advice to Ward is “know the rules.”

“There are so many state guidelines that you have to follow, so you have to know the rules,” Tweedle said.

Ward will be sworn in on Friday and is expected to serve her first mayoral term for four years.

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