New mayor aims to strengthen Cairo

New mayor aims to strengthen Cairo
New mayor aims to strengthen Cairo
Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 22:30:10-05

CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL) - History was made Tuesday night when residents in Cairo elected the city’s first African-American mayor.

“I’m going to just step into something I had already put in my mind.”

Booker Gainor has had a vision for three years, helping his hometown of Cairo transform into a stronger city.

“Cairo should’ve been -- we have made national news too many times in order for the community and the city to still be so stagnant," said Gainor.

Gainor graduated from FAMU in 2012, working two jobs, studying full-time, and traveling from Cairo. He said the idea to run for mayor started while he worked as a cable installer, when customers would complain about the city rates.

“I was able to directly see the concerns and the issue affecting the city and affecting the community," said Gainor. "I was able to hear firsthand, regardless of race, religion, gender, age.”

Running for mayor came with a few hurdles. He had to resign from his job to do so, and was unemployed for nine months.

“I knew how hard my son had put time in – campaigning and the sacrifices that he made – just to be mayor," Gainor's mother, Yolanda Davis said.

While Booker will become Cairo’s first African-American mayor, city officials aren’t sure whether or not he’s also the youngest mayor, because their records don’t include ages. Regardless, locals say having a fresh face at city hall is a good thing.

“We are blessed to have him – being a young man," said Barbara Hatcher, a Cairo resident. "He’s going to help the young people as well as the older people – and not only that, he is a blessing to the community.”

Demario Byrden successfully ran for city council, working with Booker to bring change to Cairo.

“It just gives hope to the kids who think, ‘Well, I can’t do anything. My family is limited,’" said Byrden. "But now, I can have someone who has a similar background to me and he’s done it. I can do it, too.’”

“To any person out there who is trying to go for their dreams, you have to put the work in until it works out," said Booker.

Booker says he plans to build up local business, which will attract more economic opportunity for Cairo. He’ll be officially sworn in as mayor on January 8th.

MOBILE USERS: Download our WTXL news app on your Apple and Android devices for the latest from South Georgia and North Florida. Also, download our WTXL Weather Now app for Apple and Android devices to get the latest local weather wherever you go. 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional local news and hourly updates.

Copyright 2017 WTXL via Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.