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      Newman sworn in as Columbia council member

      Brian Newman will finish the last 18 months of former Councilman E.W. Cromartie's term.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Taking the oath of office from his father, Brian Newman becomes the youngest member of Columbia City Council at 27 years old. Newman is following in the footsteps of his father, a circuit court judge, and his great-uncle a civil rights activist.

      "I wouldn't say I feel any additional weight or anything like that, I believe my family will be proud of me regardless of what I do," says the new council member.

      Newman fills a seat held for 25 years by former councilman E.W. Cromartie, who resigned after pleading guilty to tax evasion. Newman says he ran for the seat because of his passion for the community.

      "My inspiration is really bettering our community and bettering Columbia," says Newman. "I'm a lifelong resident of Columbia, and this is the place I intend to make my home for the rest of my life."

      A 2005 graduate of Morehouse College, Newman worked for the Richland County Solicitors Office before joining a private law practice. Newman says he's not worried about the possibility of butting heads with his biggest ally, Mayor Steve Benjamin.

      "I believe the council is comprised of 7 hard working, independent thinkers that all want the best for their communities and the city as a whole."