CAIRO — The candidate field for the May 19 special election to determine Cairo’s next mayor has been set.

Three candidates qualified for the contest before the qualifying period for the special election closed Wednesday afternoon. Retired investment adviser Howard Thrower III, manufacturing representative Daniel Lucas Hammond and 72-year-old private investigator Emory Thomas will face off to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Booker Gainor.

Thrower, 69, and Hammond, 40, both qualified to run Monday morning.

As a fifth-generation resident of Cairo, Thrower’s family has a history of service in the community. His great-grandfather, W.H. Robinson, served as the city’s mayor during the World War II and also helped form the local Chamber of Commerce. The now-retired Thrower, also a Sunday school teacher at First United Methodist Church, said what he likes best about Cairo is the willingness of its people to come together to achieve shared goals.

“We’re trying to save downtown Cairo and people are onboard with that,” he said. “It’s like a big family.”

Hammond, a lifelong Grady County resident himself, said he wants to create an opportunity for his children to raise their families in Cairo just as he did. Becoming involved in local government decisions was one of the ways he and his wife felt they would be best able to provide those opportunities for their children, he said Tuesday.

Thomas, the last candidate to join the race Tuesday, could not be reached for comment.

No candidates qualified for the election Wednesday.

The winner of the May 19 election will fill Gainor’s unexpired term, which is set to expire in December 2021.

Gainor had been disqualified from office last month after qualifying to run for a seat in the state legislature.

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