Meet the man taking over temporarily after LaGrange mayor resigns

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:59 PM EST
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LAGRANGE, Ga. (WTVM) - The mayor of LaGrange has officially resigned after accepting a new state position.

Tonight, we hear from the man who will temporarily take over, known to many in the area and no stranger to politics.

Edmonson will be the first Black person to serve in this position. But, it’s only temporary, with Edmondson only working as the city’s Mayor for a few months.

With one Mayor headed out the door in LaGrange, another man is set to take over.

Wednesday was the final day for Jim Thornton, who served the city for the past nine years.

Monday, Thornton will be beginning his new job as Director of Governmental Relations for the Georgia Municipal Association.

While he takes on a new role, Willie Edmonson, District 2 councilman, will temporarily fill the seat.

“I’ve had this position before, But naturally, that was when the mayor was in office, and I just acted only when he was not there. Now I’ll be acting on a regular basis,” said Edmonson.

The opportunity makes Edmonson the first Black person in the position.

“I look at it as a public servant Job. Not anything that so above anyone else,” said Edmonson.

The Troup County Native is also a father of four with ten grandchildren and a pastor in West Point. He also owns Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home in the city.

“I first ran for politics many years ago. I was in my 20′s. I ran for county coroner, and I was defeated,” said Edmonson.

For the past seven years, he’s served as a member of LaGrange’s City Council.

“LaGrange is a great city. I call it that hidden jewel that is in the state of Georgia,” said Edmonson.

Edmonson says his primary focus while serving as the city’s mayor for a few months will be the economy. I talked to one person in the area about economic gains they would like to see.

“I like to see the cost of living addressed,” said William Carper. “We’re making a little money, and we’d like to keep some of it too.”

LaGrange City Council will hold a special election to choose the city’s official mayor next year in March.