Timothy Ragland Is Talladega, Alabama’s First Black Mayor
Two Black mayors made history in Alabama this week.
The first Black mayor was elected in Talladega, Alabama, this week by a small margin, reports WBRC.
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Timothy Ragland (D-AL) beat the incumbent Jerry Cooper in the runoff election and became the city’s youngest mayor at 29 years old. Ragland earned 1014 votes, and Cooper earned 991.
Cooper, who is white, served one term as mayor before the election. He defeated Larry Barton, who was previously caught up in a controversy involving sex tapes, reports Birmingham News.
"I respect [the people's] thoughts, and what they wanted to do. I love Talladega. I love the people here. And I have helped this city. But the people have spoken," Cooper said.
Ragland told local reporters that he’s ready to lead his city.
“It's a great honor that the people of Talladega thought enough of me to allow me to be, to make this a historic run, and I'm so thankful to them, and I can't wait to get to work on behalf of the citizens of Talladega,” Ragland said.
At the age of 28, I announced my candidacy for Mayor. If elected, I will be the youngest and first African American Mayor in the history of Talladega.— T. Ragland ⚖️🔌 (@__TLamar) August 22, 2019
Join me in making history next Tuesday, August 27th. pic.twitter.com/M2WvluARu3
In a separate interview with WVTM13, Ragland said his priorities are to improve the city's infrastructure, improve the education system and increase people's access to high-speed internet.
Ragland is a third-year law school student at Faulkner University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and an associate degree from the Marion Military Institute, according to his LinkedIn profile.
On Twitter, Ragland tweeted he recently met with Stacey Abrams and the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson.
Another Black politician made history in Alabama this week. Steven Reed became the first Black mayor of Montgomery by defeating a TV station owner, Blavity reports.