TALLADEGA, Ala. (WIAT) — Talladega made history Monday by swearing in its first African-American mayor. Timothy Ragland won in a run-off election by just 23 votes.
Nearly 200 people were at City Hall to watch history unfold as the new mayor was sworn in. He is not only the first African-American mayor but also the youngest in the city’s history.
Ragland said he is humbled to be in this position and thanked all those that voted for him.
“We are going to come together and work very hard to implement all the plans that the citizen has to try to make Talladega as great as it can be,” said Ragland.
WATCH: TALLADEGA SWEARS-IN FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN MAYOR
Talladega residents that poured in said it was a big day for their city.
“I am so proud of Talladega for stepping out of their little box and moving into the future,” said Angela Curry.
Others said this paves the way for younger generations.
“Oh yeah, there’s hope for them. When they see this happening, they know they can be mayor. No stopping, no barriers, it’s just a blessing,” said Wendolyn Robinson.
Ragland’s grandparents were born and raised in Talladega. They said, years ago they would have never thought a day like this would come.
“I did not, I really did not think that it’d be possible to happen. But I thank God that it did,” said Marth Ragland.
Ragland campaigned on the promise that he’d do more than cut ribbons and sign proclamations. In Talladega, the position of mayor is largely ceremonial and has no authority. The job is part-time, meant to represent the city government in ceremonies.
“Like I said, we’re going to work with the city council, they have the authority to make things happen along with the city manager. We’re going to work very closely with them to get the will of the people done,” said Ragland.
Ragland said he will be spending his first weeks in office getting to know his city council members and the city manager.