Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Republican candidate Jace Brooks, center, awaits the results of the District 1 Board of Commissioners race with his friends Melvin Everson, far left, Dick Goodman, Kelly Kelkenberg, right, at the Hampton Inn in Lawrenceville on Tuesday.
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Hoping to gain back residents' trust, a former Suwanee City Councilman was expected to narrowly win a seat on the Gwinnett Board of Commission.
Jace Brooks held a nine-point lead over Laurie McClain in the quest to represent District 1 of the BOC.
Brooks bested McClain 6,598 to 5,614, according to the unofficial tally. Brooks admitted that it was closer than he expected.
McClain said she was excited that the race was close, but couldn't have predicted before Tuesday if it would have been a landslide or a tight race.
McClain said she wouldn't give up until the final numbers were in.
"I don't ever give up," she said.
Voters' trust was a key issue in the campaign after former District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter resigned after she pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge.
Lasseter resigned in late May when she admitted to accepting a total of $36,500 in bribes in exchange for her vote in favor of a proposed pawn shop on Boggs Road near Duluth.
McClain campaigned on ways the government could encourage job creation in the county. McClain said as a 35-year resident of Gwinnett, she's not loyal to a particular community, such as Brooks being linked to Suwanee since he was a City Councilman there for about 10 years.
McClain, an accountant and Duluth resident, said her top issue was to review and analyze incentives to bring more higher paying jobs to the county.
Brooks, a financial planner and Suwanee resident, ran on his experience on the Suwanee Council when the city was honored by Money Magazine as a top 10 city to live, and its "fiscal responsibility" of lowering taxes.
District 1 spans the Interstate 85 corridor in northern Gwinnett from east of Norcross to Sugar Hill.