R.T. Rybak, born Raymond Thomas Rybak, Jr. on November 12, 1955, became mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2001 after defeating Sharon Sayles Belton, the first female and African-American mayor of the city. Mayor Rybak successfully pulled off the victory without an endorsement from a major party and by running a populist campaign, resulting in a victory with 65 percent of the vote. This was the widest margin of victory for a challenger running against an incumbent in Minneapolis’s history. He took office in January 2002.

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