Enterprise Mayor William E. “Bill” Cooper was proud on Tuesday night.
The mayor, reached for comment on Friday as he continues to battle a persistent bacterial infection, actually used the word “elated,” but it wasn’t just about winning.
He was proud of his achievement, certainly. He became the first elected black mayor of Enterprise. “First of all, being appointed is one thing, but being elected city-wide is another thing,” he said.
He was proud of his city. “I am so elated and thankful that the people thought enough of me to give me a chance,” he added. “It lets me know that love is what love does. May the work I’ve done speak for me.”
Above all else, like most of the city’s parents, he was proud of his children.
His voice – which on the phone reflected a hard-fought campaign that included a bout with COVID-19, then the stress of an election night in conjunction with this health scare – grew stronger and surer as he talked about getting election results Tuesday.
“My children have been 100 percent plus,” Cooper said of daughter Pamela Lane and sons Spud and Rob Cooper. “My daughter came and told me, ‘Daddy, you won!’ Oh, that made me feel so good. It was a special moment.”
Cooper added his support team was invaluable.
“The committee people and churches, sororities and fraternities. Really and truly, it’s been a mixture of all people,” the mayor said. “I attribute that to my being an educator and a deacon in my church and serving on the city council. It makes me feel good to know the people put trust in me for four years to serve as their mayor.”
The negative part is he wasn’t there to join in the celebration at Cutts Restaurant. On election night, Pamela said her dad was in good spirits.
“His doctor didn’t want us to keep bringing him back and forth to the hospital, so they kept him to make sure that the medication they had him on was going to be working great,” Lane said. “He’s doing really well.”
On Friday, the mayor said the tainted oysters “messed up my system and caused my bladder and all that to get out of whack.”
“Everything seems to be going in the right direction now,” Cooper added. “All the meds I’m taking are working. I’m about out of the woods.
“I still want to let people know that I’m capable, that I’m able and that I’m certain that I can do the job I was elected to do.”
He said his body will dictate when he returns to City Hall.
“I have to take it one day at a time – probably within the next week or so,” he said, adding he’s eager to get started.
“I paid my dues. I’ve tried to be a leader of all the people,” Cooper said. “I’ve tried to do the best I could at whatever I started. I tried to represent this city whether we were in London, England, or New York City or Washington D.C.
“It gives me great ideas in my mind, trying to get things going like the 167 corridor, and those expansion and industrial projects we already have. We’re trying to look at an aquatics center and soccer fields. … We’re going to get on that journey and move the city forward.”
Follow Ken Rogers on Twitter @debamabeat.
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