Sue White has taken the vacant Llandaff North seat on Cardiff City Council with a near 500-vote majority.
The 63-year-old former Torquay Herald Express journalist polled 898 votes for Labour with an Independent in second place on 419 in a five-candidate by-election race which saw a Liberal Democrat finish bottom.
The lifelong Labour supporter, who admitted “age can be an advantage”, believes her experience will serve her well in a community she moved into four years ago.
Sue came from Devon to Cardiff with partner Joe Carolle to help look after grandchildren Bella, four, and Bea, nearly two, while her pathologist daughter and GP son-in-law, worked.
“Politics has always been a large part of my life but I became a single mother when my children were seven and four and I always worked. Then I moved to help with my grandchildren,” she said.
“I was active in the Labour party but didn’t have time to be a councillor.
“It’s a plus that I have a lot of work and personal experience. I know what it’s like to bring up children on your own, to work and care for elderly parents and young grandchildren.”
As a local newspaper reporter, Sue found out how local government works by covering council meetings for the evening newspaper in Newton Abbot.
She later went on to lecture journalism to sixth formers.