Former Chandler Mayor Coy Payne has announced his endorsement of Arizona Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, in his campaign for Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District.

Coy Payne moved to Chandler with his family in the 1940s. As a young man, Payne worked delivering newspapers and picking cotton to help support his family. Segregation prevented Payne from attending his local high school, so he commuted by bus to Carver High School in Phoenix. Coy attended Arizona State University and after graduating became a teacher. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for African Americans, Payne ran for Chandler City Council.

Years later, Payne became the first African American mayor in Arizona. He served as mayor from 1990 to 1994. In addition to serving as mayor, Payne became an educator in order to have a positive impact on the lives of many young people. For his contribution in education, the gymnasium at the Chandler High School was named in his honor.

• Briefs compiled from staff and wire reports

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