COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman takes the title of the city's longest serving mayor as 2014 begins.

Coleman begins his 15th year in office, surpassing M.E. Sensenbrenner as the longest serving mayor in Columbus history. Mayor Sensenbrenner served a total of 14 years, the first 6 from 1954-59 and the final 8 from 1964-71. Sensenbrenner’s tenure was interrupted by the term of Mayor Ralston Westlake. Upon the beginning of his current term in 2012, Mayor Coleman surpassed James J. Thomas as the Columbus mayor to serve the most consecutive years.

“Serving as mayor of Columbus has been the honor and the joy of my life,” Coleman said. “I’m as excited about meeting the challenges of our city today as I was 14 years ago. I thank our citizens for their continued support, and I look forward to working with them in 2014 and the years to come to make our city even greater.”

Coleman was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. When he first took office in 2000, he became the first Democrat since Sensenbrenner to hold the office and the first African American mayor in Columbus history. Coleman is the longest serving African American mayor in the United States.