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Fuller prepares after big primary win

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

After waiting for the vote count of Tuesday's municipal primary election to come in at the Paul Phillippe Resource Center, Brandt Fuller was floored by the results. The lifelong Frankfort resident and Army veteran received 71.3 percent of the vote for the District 5 seat on the city council.

“At first when I saw the numbers, I was kind of in shock,” Fuller said. “And then I was very humbled, proud, excited and, to be honest, a little scared. It was a lot to take in.

“After that moment, I didn't even think about the numbers,” he added. “I went right into it. I talked to every one of the department heads on Wednesday. I talked to (street superintendent) Jason Forsythe, (fire chief) John Kirby, (police) chief Bacon, (building inspector) Sam Payne, (director of Housing Initiatives and Property Maintenance) Kevin Evans – I talked to all of them. I know six months is way down the road, but we jumped in with both feet. We went to a couple meetings, and I talked to the mayor. I wasn't waiting for another six months. I wanted to jump in right now, start learning and do what I can.”

Fuller says that he has received an “outstanding” welcome from the city's department heads.

“I have known them all for a long time, so it's a new version of an old relationship,” he said. “It helps that we all know each other. I have known John Kirby since elementary school, and I was actually related by marriage at one point to Jason Forsythe. I already had an outstanding relationship with chief Bacon because of my job with Wal-Mart.” (Fuller is the Asset Protection Assistant Store Manager for the Frankfort Wal-Mart). “They have been very welcoming.

“I want to go to all the meetings that I can and learn everything that I can do – the utility board meetings, the redevelopment committee meetings, the city council meetings,” he added. “Eric Woods reached out to me saying 'Hey, I am going to do all I can to help you prepare.' Joe Palmer and I talked yesterday about sending me to Aim classes for newly elected officials in French Lick at the end of August.”

Fuller is also getting to better know issues concerning District 5.

“I want to come up with a better solution for the golf course,” he said. “That seems to be a hot topic. I personally don't think the city should own it. I don't think the city should be in the business of competing with the private sector. I don't think we should compete with Cool Lake or Angel Hill or Deer Track. So, I would like to find a helpful solution to that. And, if we do have to maintain ownership of it. I would like to find a solution to where it is not losing money.

“I like to keep an open mind and listen to everybody,” Fuller added. “I like to be a leader and not a boss. I won't ask anybody to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. A lot of it is the relationships that I build, too. That has taught me a lot.”

Fuller says that he had always thought about running for city council, but it wasn't until a friend ran for sheriff that he acted on it.

“Last year, when I helped by buddy Rich Kelly on his campaign to run for sheriff,” Fuller said. “That is when I made up my mind that it was the right time to do it. I talked to my wife (Betty) about it, and she said that she will back me if that is what I want to do.”

Fuller acknowledged the fact that there is still a possibility that someone could run against him ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

“It is always a possibility,” he said. “I am going to prepare for it just in case it does happen. But now that I've got the Republican ticket, I know it will help me. But, you always prepare for the worst-case scenario, so I am going to prepare.

“I do want to thank my family, friends everybody who came out to vote,” he added. “It takes a lot of trust to vote for somebody. I don't want to let them down. I thank my boss Blake Hall because it is a big commitment on her part as well knowing the time that it will take away from my position at work.

“My wife had been there from day one,” Fuller added. “It wasn't always easy on us during this past year, walking door to door and the financial responsibilities of signs, brochures and things like that. But, she stuck with me, we found a way to get everything done, and it worked out. So I need to thank her the most.”