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Cairo mayoral candidate Daniel Hammond abruptly withdrew his candidacy Tuesday in a major shakeup of what had been a three-man contest.
Hammond’s departure leaves Emory Thomas Sr., and Howard Thrower III, as the duo seeking to fill the unexpired term of Booker Gainor, who vacated his post by qualifying to run for the Georgia House of Representatives.
“It is with great regret that I must announce that I will not be running for the mayor seat for the City of Cairo. Due to the work I do with public agencies like the City of Cairo my employer felt there would be a conflict of interest if I held that seat. Rather than create a potential problem for myself, my co-workers, or my company I felt rescinding my candidacy was the best option. I will continue to serve the City of Cairo in a volunteer capacity as I have done for many years. Thank you to all that publicly and privately provided support and encouragement during my campaign,” Hammond said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Cairo city clerk Dana W. Barfield, who also serves and the municipal election superintendent, said Tuesday that she was able to remove Hammond’s name from the ballots before they had been printed.
Emory Thomas Sr., 1117 Summerfield Dr. N.W., lists his occupation as private investigator. 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, Florida, where a sister lived, and started to work full-time with a security agency.
In 2005, the Thomases moved to Cairo and although Thomas, 72, retired from his full-time job, he began day trading stocks, taking some investigation jobs and buying and selling real estate. His wife, Jeanette, is a teacher at Northside Elementary School.
Howard Thrower III, a fifth generation Cairoite, retired as a registered investment advisor with Valic two years ago and currently serves as chairman of the Roddenbery Memorial Library Board of Trustees.
Thrower, 69, is a 1968 graduate of Cairo High School, who returned to Cairo in 1993 so that his children could be raised in the county’s public schools.
He and his wife, Frances, are the parents of three grown children: Katie, an attorney who lives in Marietta with her husband Daniel Parvis; Nick, an English teacher and soccer coach in his tenth year at Statesboro High School; and Macy, a sales manager with Live Nation in Austin, Texas.
The Throwers reside at 1818 Lakewood Dr. S.E.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, and advance in person voting opens Monday, May 18 and runs through Friday, June 5.
Both the early voting and election day voting will take place at the Grady Cultural Center, 101 First St. N.W.