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Primaries bring new faces to city government

Tuesday’s primary elections in Brookhaven had the potential to usher in big changes for the city. And for the most part, the primaries delivered.

Police Chief Bobby Bell was defeated by Kenny Collins in the Democratic primary — 884 votes to Bell’s 487. Randy Belcher was a distant third with 269 votes.

Collins will face Jason Gaskin in the general election next month. No matter the outcome, the police department will likely move in a new direction.

A handful of aldermen races were decided Tuesday, with Jason Snider beating Rusty Yates in the Republican primary in Ward 4. With no Democrat on the ticket, Snider will be the new aldermen for the ward.

Dorsey Cameron took the Ward 1 seat after narrowly beating Elisa Corley Jr., 249 votes to 180.

And Shannon Moore will be the new Ward 2 alderman after beating two Democratic primary challengers.

That’s a lot of new faces on the board, and they will no doubt bring new ideas on how best to govern the city.

Turnout in the primaries was a bit lower than expected at 41 percent. In city-wide races, more Democrats cast a ballot than Republicans. If that voting trend holds, the city could see a new face in the mayor’s office, as well as in the alderman-at-large seat.

Both parties will work hard to turn out more voters in the general election, meaning the next few weeks leading up to the general election should be interesting.