Talladega elects its first black mayor in close runoff

Talladega elects its first black mayor in close runoff
Timothy Ragland (Source: WBRC Fox6 News)

TALLADEGA, Ala. (WBRC) - Voters in Talladega made history Tuesday by electing the city's first black mayor.

By only a 24 vote margin, Timothy Ragland defeated incumbent Jerry Cooper to win the runoff election for mayor.

Ragland received 1014 votes to Cooper's 991 in a turnout that was said to be low.

At age 29 Ragland is also the city's youngest mayor.

The law school graduate has previously held positions in the Democratic Party and the gubernatorial Campaign of Walt Maddox.

He says he's eager to get to work.

"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 told WBRC shortly after arriving at city hall.

Jerry Cooper served one term as mayor, having defeated incumbent Larry Barton four years ago.

"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 told WBRC.

City manager Beth Cheeks says there's only one provisional ballot, so despite the close results, the winners aren't expected to change when the city canvasses the votes next week.

In the race for Ward 2, Vickey Robinson Hall defeated Duryea "Dewey" Truss, 285 to 236. And in Ward 3, Joseph K. Power defeated incumbent David Street, 258 to 172.

The new mayor and rest of the council will be sworn in November Fourth.

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