KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cameron Brooks, a candidate for Knoxville city council died suddenly on Friday, September 1.

Brooks revealed just a few weeks ago that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had begun treatment. During that first round of treatment, he developed advanced sepsis and passed.

Many have been on the campaign trail with him and say Knoxville has lost a great man.

“This has all happened very very very fast,” said Will Bowen, a political science and geography major at UT in his junior year, was Cameron Brooks’s campaign manager.

Bowen added, “It was nice to see somebody have confidence in me. You know we really went through some struggles there when he wasn’t able to campaign.”

Bowen said the outpouring of love and support since the news of Brooks’s death has been overwhelming.

Reverand Harrold Middlebrook was Brooks’s treasurer and a good friend. 

“I’ve known Cameron for several years. I became involved with the local democratic party and Cameron ran for chair of the party and I was delighted to serve him,” said Middlebrook.

He said his relationship with Brooks goes back nearly two decades. He described Brooks as a quiet man.

“Cameron was a kind of shy and timid person until you got to know him. I had a lot of challenges telling him, you got to get up and let folks know who you are. We’d go to luncheons together, go to other meetings, and unless somebody said something at first he’d Cameron, he was very quiet, you wouldn’t even know he was there,” he said.

Middlebrook added that Brooks was passionate about Knoxville and its people,

“He was concerned about housing, he was concerned about employment. He was at one time an organizer with the campus workers union over with UT.” Middlebrook stated, “He wanted people to have decent housing, a decent wage because he said that you can’t have decent housing if you don’t have a decent wage.”

He added, “He was also very passionate about animals and about dog welfare and animal welfare.”

According to Middlebrook, Brooks was hitting the campaign trail hard until he couldn’t.

“He was out every day knocking on doors, talking to people, getting to know people, and asking for support and then he just got sick,” he said.

Brooks passed away at Fort Sanders on Friday morning.

“The community suffers a great loss,” Middlebrook stated. “We suffer the loss of the possibility that he had and the potential that he had for being a good council member and for continuing to give to this community and so we are saddened today.”

Many elected officials have sent out their condolences including Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon 

She said on her Facebook Page, “Cameron Brooks was a caring person who dedicated his energies to making his community better.  His sudden and untimely death comes as a shock, and I send my prayers and sympathy to his husband, his parents, and to all who knew and loved Cameron.” 

City Council member Lynne Fugate who was running against Broods shared in a statement, “I am sorry to learn of the sudden passing of Cameron Brooks early this morning. My condolences go out to his husband, Wes, his family, and his friends.”

The Knoxville Election Commission also sent us the following statement:

The Knox County Election Commission learned this morning of the passing of former Knox County Election Commissioner and City Council At-Large Seat A candidate Cameron Brooks.

While our office has been inundated with questions regarding the status of the ballot moving forward, I want to first express, on behalf of the Election Commission, our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. Cameron was a good man and a good friend, always quick with a smile and a greeting, and he will be missed.

Cameron will be certified as one of the top two finishers in the City Council At-Large Seat A contest when the Election Commission meets on Thursday, September 14.

Per TCA 2-5-204, Cameron’s name will not appear on the ballot for the November 7, 2023 City of Knoxville General Election. There will be no additional candidates listed on the ballot beyond that of the top finisher in that race.

The Election Commission, as well as the community, mourns the loss of Cameron Brooks, and offers their sincerest condolences to his family and friends.