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The latest chapter in the history of Cairo city government began Monday night with the swearing in of new mayor, Howard Thrower III.
“I am looking forward to working with this council and representing my city. I’m excited about this. We have a very good council, very sharp people, and we will take care of city issues and enjoy it while we’re doing it,” Mayor Thrower said Monday night after being sworn in by Thomas L. Lehman, city council attorney.
The new mayor requested the meeting Monday night be opened with prayer by his personal pastor, the Rev. Christy Bandy, the senior pastor at Cairo First United Methodist Church. Mayor Thrower had also asked that his swearing-in ceremony conclude with prayer and he invited the Rev. Dr. Dellise Cox, pastor of Beulah M.B. Church, to give the benediction.
With all of the strife and protests taking place across the nation in recent weeks and in light of a unity event held at the Grady County Courthouse on Saturday, Mayor Thrower said he would be a mayor for all residents of the city.
He told The Messenger, “I believe there is only one race—the human race. Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment and He said to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. If we do this we can solve all issues, problems and concerns.”
Mayor Thrower also expressed his appreciation Monday night to Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Cox for functioning in the position of mayor following the abrupt resignation of former mayor, Booker Gainor, earlier this year.
Those sentiments were echoed by his fellow councilmen.
“I want to go on record that I appreciate the job you did under extraordinary circumstances,” Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said. “You stepped up to the plate” and “you’re the only mayor pro tem I can remember who truly earned his money as mayor pro tem,” Douglas added.
“A job well done,” Councilman Bobby Gwaltney said.
“I appreciate the job you did Jerry. I appreciate it very much,” Councilman Lannis Thornton said.
Mayor Thrower, a fifth generation Cairoite, defeated Emory Thomas Sr., 453-178, in the June 9 special election.
Up until two years ago, Thrower, 69, worked as a registered investment advisor with Valic, where he managed retirement accounts for the 2,500 school system and health care employees who were his clients. He is active in civic affairs and his church as well as serves as chairman of the Roddenbery Memorial Library Board of Trustees.
Mayor Thrower 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., and he is the son of the late Howard Thrower Jr., and Bettye Thrower of Cairo.