MARION, SC (WMBF) - Monday the new mayor of the city of Marion will be sworn in after Tuesday night's election, and for the first time in the history of the city, the leader in charge with be an African American.
Bobby L. Davis defeated first-term Mayor Rodney Berry by 224 votes. Davis has been a longtime council member for 25 years, and said all his years of experience on the council will assist him in making the changes needed in the next four years.
"We have people on both sides white and black which aren't convinced yet that we can do it so it's my job as mayor and my purpose to give it my all," said Davis.
When asked if there is a racial problem in the city, Davis went on to explain, "We're not familiar with one another enough, so we need to bring us together so we can learn more about each other, and once you know more about a person you can trust that person. That's what my goal really is. "
Davis plans on uniting the community with a mayor advisory committee for young people, adults and seniors to meet quarterly.
Tuesday night's election also gave way to three new city council members, Emerson Hunt District 3, Odessa Gregg District 5 and Michael Baker, who ran unopposed with District 6.
When questioned if city leaders can help bring jobs into the area of Marion, Davis explained,"We shouldn't have the highest unemployment rate in the state. Myrtle Beach is right down the road, Dillon is booming, Florence County has never had the problem we have and there is a reason for it. One of the major reasons is folks know we are divided, and I'm going to change that."
Rodney Berry said he will not challenge the decision made by voters, and he went on to add he felt tremendously blessed to have served as mayor of Marion.
Davis intends to set up an office inside City Hall to be available for constituents.