The Mart City Council appointed a new city councilman Monday to fill the seat vacated by the Rev. Willie Hurth Jr., who recently stepped down.

John Garrett, a Baylor University graduate, was unanimously appointed to fill the vacancy. Garrett is a graduate of Baylor University, where he also played linebacker on the football team. The term ends in May.

“He’s a really good mentor to the community youth. A lot of people look up to him,” Mart Mayor Pro Tem Henry Witt III said. “He’s a really good guy.”

Mart’s city council is all at-large seats.

“I think I can speak for the whole council when I say I think it’s important we have African-American representation on the council,” Witt said. “He really represents the entire community and (as) a citizen myself, I would say I would be really proud to have him represent me and I think a lot of the citizens feel the same way.”

Garrett could not be reached for comment.

Hurth stepped down from his seat in November for personal reasons.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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