2021 City Council Candidates



Jamin Harkness
3701 Howell Wood Trail, Duluth, GA 30096

Jamin Harkness was born and raised in Georgia. He moved to Duluth in 2005 and has been active in the community.

Humbly, I’d like to highlight what I believe are my personal strengths. First, I believe I am analytical and approach each opportunity asking questions and listening. I am inquisitive and like to listen to all opinions with an open mind. I believe that I am fiscally responsible in the multiple assets that I manage daily and personally. People tell me I’m high energy – and I agree!

Jamin is involved in the community:
  • President of Dulth Cluster School Foundation
  • School Council, Coleman Middle School
  • President, Professional Adoption and Family Services
  • Member, Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Employer Advisory Council
  • Member, Atlanta Apartment Association Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
  • Volunteer, educator and committee member, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Jamin has been a Guest Lecturer at UGA and GA Tech multiple times, speaking on premises liability and multifamily technology and analytics
  • Associates Degree, Point University
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication/Management, Kennesaw State University
  • Master of Business Administration, Kennesaw State University
  • EFM Program, University of the South
  • CAPS/CAM Designation

We chose to live in Duluth when my husband and I wanted to start a family. The wonderful schools, excellent Police Department, housing, and community immediately attracted us to Duluth.

Jamin is invested in the community! Our 13-year-old son goes to school at Coleman Middle, my husband works as a School Nurse at Berkeley Lake Elementary. You’ll probably see Ben zipping around downtown Duluth on most weekends and hanging out in the Town Green! I’ve attended many City Council meeting over the past few years and have learned what is involved. With my experience developing and managing large communities, new and old, I believe that experience will inform my opinions and decisions as a Council Member.

I have the utmost respect for the City Hall Team. Everyone is more than willing to answer my questions and meet with me. I’ve recently completed the 6-hour ride along with the Duluth Police Department and was amazed at the professionalism and quality of officers they have within. In fact, during the ride-along it was exciting to see how many Duluth citizens just come up and engage with the police. I am a stakeholder in my city and want to continue the forward trajectory that the previous leadership started.

  • Married to Rodrigo
  • One child, Ben
  • Dog, Jax (Golden Doodle with much energy)
  • Attend North Point Community Church


Marline headshotMarline Thomas

A long-term resident of Duluth, Marline Thomas was appointed to the Council in July 2020; to complete the term for former member Kirkland Carden. Marline was born in a small town in Puerto Rico. She attended the University of Puerto Rico before joining the US Army. She was stationed in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and various installations in the USA; spending 11 years on Active Duty and is a Desert Storm veteran. Marline moved to Duluth in 1998. She worked for major international organizations like McKesson, Dell, and ABB. Marline holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Masters in Business & Technology from the University of Georgia. She is widely recognized for her servant leadership, strategic impact, technical savvy, and passion for people. My desire is to continue serving the citizens of Duluth. I appreciate the history and the character of Duluth. A lot has changed since I moved here but the foundation remains the same: a sense of community, love for people, friendliness, and safety.  As the first Latina in our Council, I am proud to be a part of a city that embraces and celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity that make up our community. We stand as a united Duluth with the understanding that everyone is unique, recognizing and respecting our individual differences. Vision: A vibrant, safe, connected, and innovative city where all can thrive. Strengthening our community by promoting active citizenship embracing diverse perspectives, building partnerships, and inspiring shared solutions.


Billy1Billy Jones

“My vision for Duluth is to ensure it remains a City where our families can grow, prosper and live for generations. Having roots in a community is important.”

I would like to do my part to make Duluth a place where families and businesses can stay for years. We will need to focus on our infrastructure along the main business corridors and ensure a business friendly environment at City Hall. Sustainable business in all areas of the City will enhance the lifestyles of our citizens, create a destination, and allow us to maintain our family atmosphere.


  • Two children; four grandchildren
  • Graduate of Duluth High School
  • Lifelong resident of Duluth (Born at Joan Glancy)
  • Community volunteer for over 25 years
  • Certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP)

Lamar Doss - HeadshotLamar Doss
3626 W. Lawrenceville St., Duluth, GA 30096


I am running for City Council because I believe it is important to be involved in the community in which I live. I am a lifelong Gwinnett County resident and have resided in Duluth for nearly 20 years. I
want to be a part in keeping Duluth a safe and vibrant place to raise a family, encourage smart growth, and be inclusive of the wonderfully diverse community that is Duluth.

  • Married to Ivy, August 1997
  • Two Children – Amelia and Audrey; One Dog – Barnaby
  • Georgia Southern University, Bachelor of Science in Construction Management with a Business Minor
  • Duluth First United Methodist Church: Member, Usher, Board of Trustees Treasurer
  • Board of Ethics Committee – City of Duluth
  • Duluth Fall Festival Volunteer
  • Kennesaw State University Construction Program – Capstone Review Panel


Headshot Manfred GraederManfred Graeder

3799 Abbotts Bridge Rd. Duluth, GA 30096

My goal is to continue to develop policy in the spirit and vision of the current City Council while adding focus to the areas outside our downtown Duluth. Some areas that we need to focus on are: older neighborhoods without sewer connections, aging and failing stormwater infrastructure, lack of availability for affordable housing, loss of greenspace, traffic conditions along the major arteries, and improvements to pedestrian walkability. Currently, I serve in an advisory capacity for the Mayor and City Council as a member of the Planning Commission and the Citizen Budget Review and Advisory Board since 2015. I have regularly attended the City Council Sessions for the last 6 years. I am keenly aware of the state of our city, its future plans, and the problems that need to be addressed. I am ready to be making difficult decisions using common sense, weighing all available information, and valuing the input from our citizens.

  • married to my wonderful wife Eva, August 1993
  • I am originally from Germany, living in Duluth since 2003
  • S. Citizen since 2013
  • Diploma of Informatics, University of Applied Science, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Senior Program Manager Server Development
  • 2010-2011 Volunteer Robotics Coach at Level Creek Elementary School
  • 2015 - 2021 Citizen Budget Committee
  • Chairman 2015, 2016, Co-Chair 2018, 2020
  • 2016 Member of the Finance Board of the City of Duluth
  • 2017- current Member of the Planning Commission of the City of Duluth
  • 2018-current Volunteer Administrator and Technology Support for the Duluth Fall Festival


Brandon Odum - HeadshotBrandon Odum
3601 W. Lawrenceville St. Duluth, GA 30096



Brandon Parsons Odum is a life-long resident of Duluth, Ga., and part of a multi-generational family that settled in the area during the early 1800s. Brandon has served Duluth and the greater Gwinnett County area in recent years as vice chair of the Duluth Finance Committee, chair of the Duluth Urban Redevelopment Agency, and committee chair for the Duluth Fall Festival. He has also taken on various roles to support local non-profit organizations. Brandon graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in business administration and a focus in finance. In Brandon's position as a commercial banker, he assists local businesses with financial service needs and growth plans. Brandon's goal in running for city council is to ensure the diverse and vibrant community of Duluth continues to grow and thrive. Brandon resides in downtown Duluth with wife Mary and two-year-old son, Henry.

Ray Williams HeadshotRay Williams
4014 Bennigan Lane, Duluth, GA 30096


Ray has resided in Gwinnett County since 1982 and has spent the last 22 years living in the City of Duluth.  He and his wife of over 33 years have raised three daughters who have since graduated from the Duluth school cluster.  After spending six years in the U.S. Army as a Geodetic Surveyor, he attended Southern Polytechnical State College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  He practiced privately as a Consulting engineer for over 26 years before joining the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources where he currently serves the residents of Gwinnett County including the City of Duluth as the Division Director for Facilities Engineering and Construction.  Ray has served the residents and City of Duluth community since 2011 on the City of Duluth Planning and Zoning Board as the current Chairman.  He also contributes as a sitting member of the Veterans Marker committee and routinely attends City events including the Duluth Fall Festival.

The City of Duluth has become a destination of choice which is immediately obvious when visiting. Ray can frequently be found enjoying many of the planned events with his wife, daughters, and dog. City of Duluth residents enjoy this quality of life because of the vision, dedication, tenacity, and commitment being made by the entire City of Duluth staff.  I am running for City Council because I believe I can contribute to the continued success of our City by leveraging my experience delivering critical infrastructure needs that are essential to successfully build and support a sustainable, economically sensible, and vibrate community inclusive of all our residents.

  • Married to Laura in 1988
  • Honorable Discharge, 1988 (Army Achievement Medal with 2 oak clusters, Army Commendation medal and Good Conduct)
  • Father of three Duluth High School Graduates
  • Southern Polytechnical State College, March 1991
  • Chairman, City of Duluth Planning and Zoning (2011 – Present)
  • Member, Veterans Marker Committee
  • Registered Professional Engineer in Georgia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia
  • Designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA)
  • Member Georgia Association of Water Professionals
  • Member, Water Environment Federation