BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's been a busy year for Biloxi's ward two councilman. From serving as interim mayor to the grand opening of MGM park in his ward, and making a run for mayor, Felix Gines seems to have done it all.
But, Gines says there's a lot left to be done.
Gines was born and raised in East Biloxi; one of 11 brothers and sisters. As a child, he never imagined serving the city and ward where he was raised. However, things changed as he got older.
"The reason for me getting into this area is because you want to see the direction. You want to have an influence on the direction of the community," said Gines.
Gines joined the military at the age of 20. After serving, he went to William Carey college and studied psychology. Gines says getting an education and being successful was a must.
"I can remember in Sunday School with Deacon Robert Fortner. One of the deacons who would constantly challenge you to do things, challenging you, pushing you to do better and that carries on as of today," said Gines.
Gines' first two attempts at running for ward two councilman did not result in a win, but the third time was truly a charm. But two years into his term, the mayor resigned.
"Initially a little shock. Being brought into the room, being told what the situation was and then finally being told 'OK you're it' and not only you're it, you're it until," said Gines.
Though only as an interim, Gines served as Biloxi's first black mayor. During that time he also decided to join in with nine other candidates and actually run for the position.
"You want to make sure you don't embarrass the city. You want to make sure that things are running as smooth as it was when the actual mayor was sitting there," said Gines.
Gines did not win the race, but the man who did has the utmost respect for him.
"There's no question what's in his heart. Biloxi's in his heart. You know his family, and his friends, his ward is in his heart," said Mayor Gilich.
With just a little more than a year left in his term as councilman, Gines hopes he's done the people of his ward and the city proud. He mentioned a popular quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about being a drum major.
"So I have to continue to march on. Continue to push the issues of the community. Continue to push the issues of the city and try to make everything better, everything that I can put my hands on," said Gines.
Gines is currently a first sergeant with the 172nd Wing of the Air National Guard in Jackson.