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New faces will join Thomson City Council in January

In the coming year, there will be at least two new faces on Thomson City Council, including a new mayor and the first female council member in a number of years.

Kenneth Usry, a long-time serving member on city council and mayor pro-tem for several years, will replace Mayor Robert E. Knox, Jr. Mr. Knox decided not to seek re-election to the city's highest governmental position.

Mr. Usry said he plans to lead the city in a continued leadership role.

"I'm really looking forward to being the mayor," Mayor-elect Usry said. "I look forward to the many challenges that await me and those on city council."

Mr. Usry will become the city's first new mayor in 28 years. That's how long Mayor Knox has served in that capacity.

The new mayor-elect, along with four other council members, were unopposed in last week's city election. The council members unopposed included: Alton Belton, John Smalley, Jaye Jones and Clifford "Bud" Lunceford.

In last week's city election, Bernice Brown, a political newcomer, beat out challenger Jose Granados, to win the only contested race. Ms. Brown, who serves as director of a local head-start school program, defeated Mr. Granados, a local businessman, garnering 75 votes to his 21 votes.

Ms. Brown becomes the second black woman to serve on city council since Ann Daniel and only the third woman to ever serve in an elected capacity in Thomson.

"I'm happy to have won the election," Ms. Brown said. "I look forward to serving on city council next year."

She will replace longtime Councilman John T. Wiley, who decided not to seek re-election.

Another newcomer to city council will be Councilman-elect Lunceford, a retired local pharmacist.

Web posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007

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