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Former Councilman Mitchell Brown returning to Columbus City Council to replace Elizabeth Brown

Columbus Council member Mitchell Brown
James Miller
Columbus Division of Fire
Columbus Council member Mitchell Brown celebrates the re-opening of John Nance Fire Station 2 on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Columbus City Council members picked a familiar face to fill an empty seat.

Councilmember Emmanuel Remy nominated former Columbus City Councilman Mitchell J. Brown and the members voted unanimously to select him at their meeting Monday.

Brown resigned from the council at the end of 2021. Once he is sworn in, he will take the seat left empty by Elizabeth Brown at the end of 2022. She left the city council to lead the Columbus YWCA.

“Thank you and congratulations to Councilmember designate Mitchell J. Brown," Council President Shannon Hardin said.

Brown is expected to be sworn in at the January 30 meeting, where committee appointments will be set.

Hardin said the members sought an experienced person uninterested in running in future elections to complete the last year of the term.

Nearly 30 people applied for the vacancy and the council selected about a third of them as finalists. Those finalists were given the chance to speak at a council meeting earlier this month.

Brown said he was asked to put his name in the running and believed that his experience would be helpful. “After a long discussion with my family, I agreed to submit my resume for consideration, replacing one Brown with another," he said.

Brown was the city’s director of public safety for 15 years before he served on council from 2016 through 2021. “I have a complete understanding of how city council operates," he said.

He said that if selected, he would, "look forward to working closely with the council president and all the members of council to fulfill the objectives that you have prepared for 2023."

Before coming to Columbus, Brown led various state agencies, including the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Public Safety under then-Gov. George Voinivich's administration.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News.