Brookneal’s first African American mayor to start next year


by Rachel Langlitz & Courtny Jodon

James ‘Champ’ Nowlin (WSET)

BROOKNEAL, Va. (WSET) — After two decades of service to her community, Brookneal Mayor Phyllis Campbell is retiring at the end of 2018.

She’s been on town council for 20 years, and served 16 of those years as mayor.

With her retirement comes a first for the town.

James Nowlin will take over the reins as mayor, and he’ll be the first African American to ever hold the seat.

Nowlin, otherwise known as “Champ” to many, has been on Brookneal Town Council for 29 years.

“I love this town,” he said.

He’s been the vice mayor for 14 years, and come 2019, he’ll take the top spot on council.

“Of course I know that everybody’s been saying the first black mayor, so that’s great and good because I can’t change my color,” Nowlin said.

He said he’s looking…

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