TALLADEGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Talladega Mayor Elect Tim Ragland is ready to get started after voters chose him to be the first African-American mayor in the city’s history.
Ragland beat out incumbent Jerry Cooper during Tuesday’s runoff election.
“I feel excited, overwhelmed and ready to get to work,” Ragland said.
Ragland was born and raised in Talladega until his graduation from Talladega High School in 2009. He later joined the U.S. Army Reserves.
He’s now ready to bring change to his hometown.
“We’re not stuck in the past, it’s 2019. I think it speaks of how we are together. I am standing on the shoulders of giants like Mr. Taylor who was the first African American councilman, Edythe Sims, who was the first African American councilwoman to be on the council,” said Ragland.
Communnity activist Sabriana Swain said she hopes the city will unite under new leadership.
“To have our first African American mayor is a good thing. He’s very young and vibrant and I think he’s going to bring a lot of good ideas to the table. I think it is time for the community to stand with him,” Swain said.
Some neighbors told CBS 42 that improved infrastructure, education, and jobs should be the priority.
“It ain’t about color. It’s about what the man can do. It’s about what he believes in,” said Jerry Pilkinton, who lives in Talladega.
While Ragland does not take office until November, he was already talking to neighbors outside of city hall Wednesday.
Ragland promised to be open and transparent during his term.
“I just want the citizens to know that those in goernment work for them, and it is not the other way around, and it is our job to make you happy and that is what I want to do,” he said.
Ragland will be sworn in Nov. 4.
Here are the final election results for the rest of the races in Talladega: