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Three running for South Ward seat
A South Ward seat on the Brunswick city commission has seen two different men sitting in it this year, and both are seeking re-election Nov. 5.

Both commissioner James Brooks, who has been suspended with pay from office until a criminal case against him is resolved, and Emmitt Nolan, the man appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to replace Brooks, will be listed as incumbents on the ballot.

Brooks, who maintains his innocence, is accused of accepting money in exchange for seeking jobs and permits for people.

Also seeking election to the seat is Felicia Harris.

Nolan is adamant about making his temporary position on the board permanent.

With his experience working with the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority and his short stint on the commission, he feels confident voters will keep him on the board.

"I've learned a lot in my short amount of time here, and it's been very interesting," he said. "Along with that, and my previous experience working with the Downtown Development Authority, I can help bring a new perspective on the challenges that face the city."

The Valdosta State University graduate says he feels very strongly about attracting more businesses to Brunswick to create more jobs.

To do that, however, there's going to need to be major cooperation between the city and county, says Nolan, who has a degree in political science.

"With cooperation, we could develop more incentives to get business to come here," he said.

Harris says she believes in job creation, as well.

She says she wants to see a revitalization of the city and a stronger community bond with citizens.

Like Nolan, she says she believes the future of Brunswick rests heavily on cooperation between city and county officials.

"If we can get a joint collaboration going, we can get job creation," said Harris, who graduated form Bethune-Cookman University with a business degree. "It's going to take more than just the city of Brunswick."

Brooks did not return a telephone call to explain his positions on issues facing the city.

In addition to electing a South Ward commissioner, voters will cast ballots in races for mayor and for a North Ward seat. Voters also will decide whether retailers in the city can sell beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.

The last day to register to vote in the election is Oct. 7.

* Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.

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