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Wilson first to toss hat in ring for mayor’s race

Lincoln County District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson isthe first candidate to qualify to run for mayor of Brookhaven inthis year’s elections.

Wilson, who is in his second term as supervisor and earlierserved two terms as alderman of Ward Three, said being at the helmof the city government has long been a dream of his.

“It was a dream of mine, I always wanted to be mayor and solveproblems for the people and react to the temperature in the realmof the community,” said Wilson, who signed up to run on the firstday of qualifying Monday. “There’s a lot of stuff out there themayor can do, and as supervisor I’m limited on some things.”

One of his goals, Wilson said, is to continue to find ways tobring jobs to Brookhaven.

“I know we’re in a recession now and people want to work. Weneed to get jobs in here because people need jobs where they cantake care of their families,” said Wilson, 48. “Right now the localeconomy is doing good and we want to do everything possible to tryto keep it like that; we’ve got to do something. Things are toughbut you have to have a leader that can navigate.”

The way to bring jobs in, Wilson said, is through networking. Hesaid part of his work if he is elected mayor will be to do what hecan to project Brookhaven’s positives to new businesses andindustries.

“You’ve just got to reach out to people, you’ve got to be ago-getter, and sell yourself, get around people and talk to them,”he said. “You’ve got to find some of the entities that are outthere, and do what you can to get them here.”

Another focus is to continue the projects begun by Mayor BobMassengill, Wilson said. Massengill announced last week he will notseek a second full term as mayor.

“The first thing is I want to complete the projects the mayorhas already started,” he said. “I’m committed to serving thepeople, getting the jobs in here and reach out to be there for thepeople.”

Wilson said he will institute his own open-door policy soBrookhavenites know they can come to his office at any time if heis elected mayor. He said he will also put emphasis on workingclosely with the county board of supervisors, the chamber ofcommerce and the Industrial Development Foundation.

“I just want to help by being that go-between person who whenissues come up, we can address them head-on,” he said.

Wilson’s wife, Mary Wilson, succeeded him as Ward ThreeAlderwoman after his election to the board of supervisors. She iscurrently still serving in that position, and has already qualifiedto run in this year’s election.