Two more candidates join city election

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, January 20, 2013

The entrance of a new candidate into city elections last week has made Ward One the most crowded aldermen race thus far in this year’s campaign season.

Kermit Sartin qualified Wednesday as a Democratic candidate seeking the office of Ward One alderman.

He joins Randy Belcher in the race, both of them challengers to incumbent Dorsey Cameron, who’s held the Ward One seat 16 years.

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Belcher and Cameron are both running as Democrats.

Ed Thompson also officially qualified on Friday as an independent candidate for the alderman at large seat.

He originally qualified as a Republican but subsequently withdrew and decided instead to run as an independent.

So far, Thompson is the only candidate challenging incumbent Alderman at Large Karen Sullivan, a Republican.

Thompson said he preferred not to speak about his candidacy until later, but Sartin discussed last week some of his reasons for seeking a seat at the city board.

Increased city services in annexed areas would be a major goal of Sartin’s.

“The city took it in but haven’t done what the citizens expected,” he said of areas Brookhaven annexed into the city limits in 2007.

Sartin, a 39-year old Brookhaven native, said increased lighting, utility services and infrastructure repair are all badly needed throughout the city’s annexed services.

An Army veteran, Sartin currently owns 1055 Music in Brookhaven and wants to help expand the entertainment options in Brookhaven.

The father of seven said community outreach was another of his major focus areas, calling for more community programs for youth as well as seniors.

The city needs increased revenue to accomplish much of this, Sartin said, though he acknowledged that’s an ambitious goal and he doesn’t yet have any specific proposals for accomplishing it.

He did take tax revenue off the table as an option for increasing revenues. Indeed, he pledged quite the opposite.

“I want lower taxes,” said Sartin.

Other contested races include Ward Three, where challenger Lennie Lewis-Bracey is seeking to unseat incumbent Mary Wilson. Both want to claim the Democratic nomination.

In Ward Four, Republican incumbent Shirley Estes is running for re-election and has not yet picked up an opponent.

In Ward Five, Republican Fletcher Grice has filed to run, while Ward Six has one candidate, David McCoy, a Democrat.

The incumbents in those wards, D.W. Maxwell in Ward Five and David Phillips in Ward Six, have not yet stated their plans for this year’s election.

In Ward Two, no candidates have qualified. Incumbent Terry Bates hasn’t indicated whether he’ll seek another term.

Mayor Les Bumgarner announced Friday he won’t run for re-election, but no candidates have appeared yet for the mayor’s office.

City Clerk Mike Jinks will run again and has no opponent so far.

Three candidates are vying to replace Police Chief Pap Henderson, who says he’s retiring: Assistant Police Chief Bobby Bell, Ted Goleman and Larry Warren.

Candidates may qualify for city elections through March 8.