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Posted: October 19, 2011 12:30 a.m.

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Barron Steward runs for mayor in Social Circle


The race for the mayor’s seat in Social Circle is highly contested and has been since current mayor Jim Burgess announced he did not plan to seek re-election. One of the four men vying for the spot is Social Circle native Barron B. Steward.

Steward, 40, graduated from the Social Circle school system in 1990 and went on to attend DeKalb Tech and the Portfolio Center of Atlanta, where he graduated in 1996. Recruited in college, he spent the next seven years after graduation in advertising, working on brands for such well-known companies as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Oldsmobile and Adidas. Now self-employed, Steward still works in advertising, but instead of working with major companies, his goal is to help smaller businesses get set up.

He and his wife Tangi have three children (13, 6 and 3). Their youngest child Morgan suffers from a rare motor neuron condition called SMA Type 2. The family is dedicated to finding a cure for the disease, which affects major muscle development and requires “enormous amounts of therapy,” according to Steward. The family enjoys outdoor activities together.

Steward said he decided to run for mayor instead of city council because there are already two people running in his district, “and both I believe can get the job done.” 

“Why mayor — why not?” he said in an email. “I was born and raised here. Since I was a child, I’ve invested a lot of time in the lives of those who live in Social Circle. My grandmother Lula Mae Hardge, 84, is one of the oldest seniors and my niece Cayla Nelson, 1, is one of the youngest. Brenda Nelson, my sister, and Annette Gibbs, my aunt, are both business owners. Not to mention nearly 100 or more other family members who live in Social Circle. There are so many reasons to run for mayor, but my main reason is that I love and care for its past and its future.”

He is concerned with the lack of jobs and the high cost of utilities and taxes in the city, as well as the public safety program, budget and staffing.

“I believe they work hard for the city; however, the city words hard for them too,” he said. “Our senior citizens and youth deserve indoor activities as well as parks they can enjoy. Lastly, I believe we can do more with tourism. I will be looking to get people out of the city more and invite others in. As mayor, I will create a way to transport citizens to and from other cities in Georgia. Travel is one of the best educators. Social Circle needs an affordable travel program to work with our Welcome Center. I have big plans for our well and all that it stands for.”

Steward said he is currently looking at several boards and civic groups, such as the Lions Club, The American Red Cross, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children and Families with Children Under Stress. He said he is currently working FOCUS and has worked with the Red Cross in the past. 

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