A northwest Cairo resident has signed on the dotted line to run for mayor. This is the second time Emory Thomas Sr., has sought elected office in the city. Last year, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Cairo City Councilman Jerry Cox.
Thomas, 72, qualified with City Clerk Dana W. Barfield shortly after noon on Tuesday.
Thomas resides at 1117 Summerfield Drive N.W., and lists his occupation as a private investigator. He and his wife, Jeanette, have been residents of Grady County since 2005.
The Messenger sought comment from Thomas Tuesday, but he requested that an interview be scheduled at a later date in order for him to properly prepare. Included in this report is information and comments Thomas shared with The Messenger last year when he qualified to run for the District 5 city council seat.
A Cairo native, Thomas graduated from Washington Consolidated High School in 1966, and was then drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. He says he served 13 months in Vietnam and was then discharged in 1968. After, he moved to Miami where a sister lived, and started to work full time with a security agency. During that time, he enrolled in Miami-Dade Community College and earned an associate’s degree in paralegal studies.
Thomas says a bad experience with an employer when he was working on a farm as a young child helped him decide early that he never wanted to work for someone else. “Along the way I had to work jobs to get where I wanted to go,” he says. “My aim was to establish my own business.”
Thomas says he and his wife Jeanette married in 1969, and soon he opened his own security firm, Bazooka Security, in Miami. A decline in contracts forced him to close the business in less than two years, but he reorganized and reopened the business as Tight Security, Inc., and operated through 2004, providing security and private investigation services for customers.
In 2005, the Thomases moved to Cairo and although Thomas retired from his full-time job, he began day trading stocks, taking some investigation jobs and buying and selling real estate. His wife is a teacher at Northside Elementary School.
Thomas and his wife are the parents of adult sons Emory Thomas Jr., 49, and Jermain Thomas, 45, both of Miami. The Thomases also have two grandchildren.
In November, Thomas lost at the polls to District 5 Cairo City councilman Jerry Cox by a vote of 254 to 48.
When he ran last year for city council, Thomas complained that city leaders needed to do more for the citizens and the rates for electricity were too high. Thomas also contended that members of the council were lacking in fiscal management.