With goals of improving his community, District 5 City Council member Darue Bryant has plans to keep the seat he was recently appointed to for another four years.
Bryant was appointed to the position following the death of Maxine Harris earlier this year. During a visit to the Sampson County Board of Elections with his family last Friday afternoon, Bryant officially filed, placing his on the ballot for the election in November.
“When it comes down to it, the reason I really want to run is because I have a great deal of pride in my city,” he said. “I have a passion for the community. I really want to make sure the people’s voices are heard.”
This year will mark his first time running for office and it’s something he’s looking forward to.
“It’s my first election, but I’m prepared,” Bryant attested.
If elected, one of his goal is to improve public safety, which was a major concern of his constituents. Bryant said the recent construction of the Clinton Police substation assisted with this effort.
“We have a very responsive police department, so one of the goals is to continue to see an improvement in public safety,” he said.
Another aim for Bryant is improving housing in District 5, which includes a portion of the central and western parts of town. He mentioned Habitat for Humanity, which held a groundbreaking in April for a family on West Johnson Street. The Fayetteville chapter of the organization is looking to add three to four more houses in the area. He also mentioned other developers working to set up affordable housing.
As a councilman, Bryant said he wants to look at ways to improve the quality of life for people in District 5 and throughout the city. That mission comes with working with other community members for events such as back-to-school functions.
“All of these things are efforts we’re doing to better the community and create a sense of morale in the community,” Bryant said.
With the construction of the new Highway 24, Bryant and other town leaders are anticipating more jobs and economic development for the city as a whole. He alluded to how he would like District 5 residents to take advantage of this opportunity.
While speaking about his hopes for Clinton, Bryant mentioned how a lot of politicians become the status quo type when it comes to holding office.
“They have their own agendas or they’re just trying to satisfy their party affiliations and their agenda,” Bryant said.
As a member of the Clinton Council, he said his colleagues and department leaders know how to be bi-partisanwhen it comes to matters to improve the town. One of them included wage increases for the police and fire departments.
“We come together, we work together and we make sure that the community and the city comes first,” he said. “By doing so, we’re able to see a lot of good things come out of it.”
During the selection process for the position, the Clinton native, who also serves as a minster, said he was passionate about his hometown, where he learned values. He owns two businesses, Wall Street Barbers and Kingdom Productions, a multimedia company.
Bryant and his wife, Darlene, a fifth grade teacher at Sunset Elementary, have been married 20 years and have five children.
Along with the District 5 seat, three others in Clinton will be up for the upcoming election, including the seat occupied by longtime Mayor Lew Starling, as well as those of Mayor Pro-Tem Marcus Becton of District 3, and District 1 Councilman Steve Stefanovich.
Starling has already filed.
“It’s going to be interesting” he said about the election. “But becuase we work well together in the community and seen progress, despite all of the challenges we face, I believe that they’re not going to see much of a shift going forward.”
(Chase Jordan | Sampson Independent)
(Chase Jordan | Sampson Independent)