Mary Singleton won a seat on the Jacksonville City Council in 1967. She was the first African American woman to be elected to the council.
Singleton was born in Jacksonville in 1926. She was the first black woman elected to the Jacksonville City Council. She won the Democratic nomination for the Ward 2 seat on the City Council in 1967 (There was no Republican candidate), defeating William Thompson, a white man, 20,648 to 16,143 votes.
Singleton was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1972 for District 16, winning the Democratic nomination and facing no Republican opponent. Reelected in 1974, she became the first black from north Florida to be elected to the Florida Legislature since the Reconstruction era. In June 1976, Singleton was appointed director of the Division of Elections in the Office of the Secretary of State of Florida under Bruce Smathers. She succeeded Dorothy Glisson, who resigned in January 1976 to become secretary of professional and occupational regulation. The job paid $21,500 a year. Singleton was the first black person and the second woman to hold that position.
Mary Singleton resigned as elections director to seek the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Florida in the 1978 state elections. She ran on a ticket as the running mate of Claude R. Kirk, Jr., the colorful former Republican governor of Florida who attempted a comeback as a Democrat. She had to suspend campaigning in August 1978 to be with her 29-year-old daughter Carol Scott in New Orleans, who was undergoing surgery for cancer.