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Smith first hopeful for city council

COVINGTON - Chris Smith is the first to announce his candidacy for a Covington City Council seat in the Nov. 3 Municipal general election.

Smith is running for the Post 1 East seat, currently held by John Howard. Now in his fourth term, Howard said he will not run again.

"He's done a wonderful job for the citizens," Smith said.

A fifth generation Newton Countian, Smith, 40, said he has strong roots and is very invested in the community. He is also the co-owner of a local business, Newton Electric Supply, and spent 19 years working as a paramedic for Newton Medical Center.

It's those ties that bind him to the city and mean he has an interest in its future.

"I'm going to be in this community. I'm not a drifter or a fly-by-night by any means," Smith said.

If elected, Smith said he wants to work on economic growth, focusing on industrial and retail development. He said he would like to partner with the Chamber of Commerce to recruit businesses and promote Covington's proximity to I-20 and Atlanta.

Smith said he would also like the city to participate in more joint ventures with the county, perhaps combining services to save taxpayer dollars. An example would be the combining of Animal Control services that took place years ago, he said.

Smith said he would make public safety and recreation a priority and would be an advocate for city employees.

If elected, Smith would be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Carl Smith, and his father, Billy Smith, both of whom have served on the City Council.

He is a graduate of Newton High School and of DeKalb Technical College's EMT/paramedic program.

Smith is a member of the Covington Planning Commission and a member of the Public Safety Board and EMS Advisory Board at DeKalb Tech.

He is an active member of Covington First United Methodist Church, where he is the administrative board chair and a member of the finance committee. He has also been a volunteer with local Boy Scout Troop 222.

Smith and his wife Gidget have two daughters, Ashley, 15 and Kristi, 12.

Qualifying for the city's non-partisan election takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at the Newton County Board of Elections and Registration Office. The qualifying fee is $180.

Other council seats up for election are Post 2, West Ward, held by Hawnethia Williams and Post 3, West Ward, held by Ocie Franklin.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.