Cairo swears in first African American mayor

Booker T. Gainor
Booker T. Gainor
Posted at 10:10 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 22:24:41-05

CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL) - Cairo made history Monday night as the city's first African American mayor was sworn in.

Booker T. Gainor now holds the city's top seat. It's the first time in the city's 183 years an African American man has held the top seat. The 28-year-old Florida A&M alum is humble about making history.

"I did it to make an impact," said Mayor Gainor. "So long as it goes down as being impactful; just being someone of character and the morals to lead a large group of people, that's the only thing I'm worried about. It was for Cairo."

Gainor wants to unify and improve the city during his term, adding: "My biggest goal is to help [lower] utility rates and bring in more economic development into Cairo. Instead of us leaving or commuting back and forth to other cities to work, we can reside right here in Cairo to work."

Gainor's goals for Cairo are what landed him 57% of the total votes during the November election. His supporters say it's important to see people of color succeed.

"The children need to have someone to look up to," said Maria Vasquez, a Cairo native who went to high school with Gainor. "Being from a smaller area like Cairo, sometimes it's hard to find leaders to look up to, especially in areas like politics. It's really inspiring to see him in this position."

Gainor is inspiring others already, in just his first few hours in office.

"For Cairo, they definitely need to see a forward vision for the community," said Vasquez. "He's part of the younger generation, but everyone's really supportive of the direction he's moving forward to."

A new mayor, giving the people of this small Georgia city hope for the future.

Gainor's supporters are planning an inauguration celebration for him. It will be held Saturday, January 13th at the Grady Cultural Center in Cairo.