By Othor Cain,
Pelahatchie, is a small Mississippi town, with a population of 1,461, according to the 2000 census. It is 60 percent white and since 2017 has had its first African-American mayor.
Ryshonda Harper Beechem, 39, was elected mayor in June 2017. She made additional history during this election as she became the first African-American mayor in Rankin County.
Defeating two other candidates in the June 6 general election, Beechem acknowledges her faith. “It was nothing but the grace of God that bestowed this blessing,” Beechem said. “I’m a woman of faith.”
Beechem identifies as an independent and campaigned on people working together to move Pelahatchie forward.
Beechem has a degree in accounting from Jackson State University. She and her husband, Rod Beechem, are the parents of a 2-year-old daughter. They own the accounting firm HBG & Associate Inc.; HBG Academy Inc., a Jackson childcare center; and StaTuned Multimedia, which creates commercials.
Beechem also coaches a girls dance team and is the dance instructor for her church’s youth inspiration dance team.
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