Alderman Ward Four
Alderman Candidate Ward 4, Lu Coker
Incumbent, Alderman Ward 4
Personal Information: My wife, Kathy, and I have two children, Jason and Candace (Coker) Gray and we have been blessed with six grandchildren. Jason and Candace both graduated from Brandon High School. Jason has an insurance business in downtown Brandon and Candace is a nurse. We have lived in Brandon for 35 years and are members of Crossgates United Methodist Church
Employment/Education: BS degree in Marketing/Business from Louisiana Tech University. I am a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Certified Life Underwriter. I worked for a leading insurance company for 34 years leading 200+ agents and employees in MS and TN. With over $160,000,000 in sales annually I gained a tremendous amount of experience in budgeting and finance.
I was asked recently why I was running for Alderman. My thoughts go back to when I was coaching little league baseball many years ago. Our city did not have many fields at that time and very few fields had lights. I had a friend who owned the Dairy Queen on Hwy. 80 in Brandon and he was letting me use the little grassy area next to his business as a practice field. I also was using the pasture area behind our church (Crossgates Methodist) as a practice area. Neither was ideal but we used what we had available. It was then that I knew I wanted to make a difference in making Brandon better.
Fast forward to today and just look at the difference we have made! Since being elected alderman I have worked diligently to ensure Brandon does not stop making progress. Shiloh upgrades include baseball /softball fields, soccer field additions, bathroom and concession stands, a fantastic walking trail, and we built a new pavilion. Shiloh Park became so busy we decided to build more fields at Quarry Park. We now have tens of thousands of people coming in from all over the Southeast to play tournaments at the finest area in the South. These visitors come in for a weekend and frequent our restaurants and grocery stores which adds to our 2% voter referendum food and beverage tax. We now have a new revenue stream that allows us to continue with improvements.
In addition to the obvious improvements in our Parks and Recreation department, we have made tremendous progress on improving our streets. There were years when we could not afford to pave streets. It was necessary to work through those hard times and pay off debt.
After retiring some debt we have been able to repave over 60 miles of city streets including 90 city streets this past year. The final phase of East Metro Parkway, which will link Lakeland Drive to Highway 80 is finally going to begin construction. This project has been over a decade in the making but should make a significant difference with our traffic.
During these uncertain times dealing with the pandemic and our economy, it is imperative you have an experienced person looking out for our City. I am aware of our needs and with your help and support I will continue to work hard to make out city government the best and to make Brandon an even better place to live and raise a family. I do need and will appreciate your vote on April 6th and hope you will let me know when I can be of service to you in any way.
Alderman Candidate Ward 4, Brantley Mitchell
Candidate, Alderman Ward 4
Hello, my name is Brantley Mitchell and I’m humbly asking for your support and vote for Alderman in Ward 4 on April 6th, 2021. I would love to say I grew up in Brandon and I have been here my entire life, but that’s not the case. I grew up in Pearl and graduated high school there (please don’t hold that against me). After high school, I moved away from Pearl and Rankin County four different times and have found my way back to this little piece of God’s country that we call Brandon, MS. I have lived in Brandon for several years, and this is where I now call home. I have a beautiful wife who is truly my best friend, and 2 wonderful kids. My wife Lindsay, stepdaughter Elizabeth, and son Brantley Gray are all in this with me, to make Brandon a better place for every citizen, not just those in Ward 4. Without God and my family, I would have never taken the stand that I have now, and that’s changing Brandon into the city we know we can and should be. We all talk about it, but we don’t need to just talk about it and live with it- we need to stand together against the negative. That’s what drives me, and will continue to drive me, to do what’s right for Brandon and its citizens.
You might ask about my qualifications and if I can do the job of an Alderman. I would say ‘’YES,’’ and I will accept the challenge to move Brandon in a positive, debt-free direction. I have worked for the city transportation department in Mountain Village, Colorado; I have worked stock and sales for a little company named Victoria’s Secret; I have been part owner in a plumbing company based right here in Brandon; now I’m a district manager for a Fortune 500 Company. There is no situation that is too big or too tough that my past experiences haven’t given me the ability to deal with. Dealing with tourists in a ski town during the winter with fresh powder on the ground, women and men in a holiday crunch with lingerie concerns, homeowners with sewer and water issues (boy does the city need help in this department), and handling a $20-million sales and operation budget is a great start for some qualifications.
With all the social media posts about changing Brandon to be a better city, “not borrowing our way out of debt,” taking a different stand on the amphitheater, fixing the infrastructure, making our city a safer place to live, and being transparent with open communication is why I’m asking for your support in the election of Alderman in Ward 4 on April 6th, 2021. Together we can do this!