City of Cairo elects first African American mayor

Published: Nov. 9, 2017 at 12:28 PM EST
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

November 9, 2017

CAIRO, Ga. (WCTV) -- The City of Cairo has elected its first ever African American mayor, 28-year-old Booker Gainor.

We met with Gainor and his family to discuss what the historic moment means to him.

"I'm the Mayor of Cairo, I represent the people, I was elected by the people, so my platform is towards everyone," Gainor tells us.

He takes great pride in the accomplishment, and his family does too.

"When the numbers were finally put on the board... it was astonishing. You know, I was just so proud," his grandmother Evelyn says.

The Florida A&M University graduate earned his degree in business administration in 2012.

When his grandmother asked if he wanted to pursue a career in the business world, Gainor told her he wanted to stay in Cairo and help make it better.

"Actually going into the homes and seeing exactly how people are living, it kind of just grew on me and kind of led me into that role," Gainor says.

Support didn't just come from his parents and grandmother. It came from north of the border too.

Booker's brother P.J. was in Canada last week playing football for the Canadian Football League's BC Lions. But he couldn't miss this.

"I just came home early Thursday so I could make sure I could get home and vote for my brother because this is a big deal," P.J. says.

Now, the entire family will be there to witness history.

"We're going to make sure that we're in that background to make sure that he's going to be the best mayor that Cairo can ever and will ever have," Gainor's family member says.

Gainor tells us he wants to thank all of the residents of Cairo, with a special thanks to Elma Lacey. Gainor says Lacey has supported his dream for years... and was able to cast her vote at age 91.