City’s newest alderwoman sworn in

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Brittany Fortenberry was sworn in Wednesday night to become Sumrall’s newest member of the Board of Aldermen after a special election Tuesday.

Fortenberry, 26, defeated Adam Grimsley 118-99 in the voting after a special election was scheduled to replace George Trihoulis, who resigned July 3 because his previous employment wouldn’t allow him to serve on the Board. Trihoulis won the office in the General Election.

Fortenberry, a USM graduate, said Wednesday morning she was excited to be joining the Sumrall Board of Aldermen as at-large alderwoman.

“I can finally relax,” she said. “This is the first time for me to run for office. Like the saying goes that the best way to eat an elephant is a little bit at a time; this was the perfect definition.”

Fortenberry said she campaigned on a personal level.

“The only way to win an election like this in a small town is meeting people face to face,” she said.

Fortenberry said she has two main objectives when she takes office.

“My first priority is finding a police chief,” she said. “We need to find someone who really understands how a small town works.”

Chris Dungan resigned as police chief after about seven years to join the Lamar County School District as a School Resource Officer. The deadline for police chief applications was Tuesday.

Bringing small businesses to Sumrall is Fortenberry’s second priority.

“We need more small businesses to locate in Sumrall,” she said. “We have industries here with Fibervision and the solar farms. Sumrall also has some of the best citizens anywhere.”

In the General Election, Trihoulis collected 197 votes (42 percent), followed by incumbent Ward 3 Alderman James Burnham with 160 (34 percent) and Grimsley with 112 (24 percent).