JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Dale Danks Jr., who served 12 years as mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, died Wednesday of complications from a stroke, his family told news outlets. He was 81.
Danks was an attorney. He was elected as Hinds County prosecutor in 1972 and then won the race for mayor in 1977. He led Jackson through extended Pearl River flooding that submerged hundreds of homes and businesses in 1979 and 1983.
In 1989, Danks lost his bid for a fourth term to fellow Democrat Kane Ditto, who went on to serve two terms. Danks urged city leaders to build on what was right in Jackson and thanked the voters for helping him achieve his goal of serving, WLBT-TV reported.
“From the days when I worked on city garbage trucks as a teenager, my ambition was to serve as mayor of this city,” Danks said. “That ambition was fulfilled and I thank the people of Jackson for allowing that to happen.”
Danks later became a Republican and served as a municipal judge in the Jackson suburb of Madison.
Current Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said in a statement that he sends condolences to the Danks family.
“We honor his memory by continuing the necessary work to see this city prosper and achieve all that we know it can be,” Lumumba said.
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