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Councilman Smith to run for re-election
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Covington Councilman Chris Smith announced Wednesday he will seek re-election to the City Council.

Smith, who was first elected in 2009, is one of three council members who represent the eastern half of Covington.

Local elections for all city councils in Newton County will be held in November.

Smith, 44, is the co-owner of Newton Electric Supply and ran originally on a platform of fiscal responsibility, an attribute he continues to emphasize.

He ran unopposed in 2009, when he replaced longtime councilman John Howard.

"I ran for the City Council to be a friend to the taxpayers and to give back to my community.

"We are living in tough economic times where budgets are tight in citizens’ households and in the businesses of Covington. I believe that government has to be responsible with the taxpayer’s dollars and spend them wisely; that’s what I have fought for over the past four years," he said. "If re-elected, I will continue to work hard to ensure that Covington remains a great place to live, raise a family and operate a business."

In a press release, Smith said he has "been a friend to the taxpayers of Covington by working to maintain reduced storm water runoff fees on Covington’s homeowners and businesses and has diligently fought for no tax increases while increasing the city’s reserves."

He also said he is a strong advocate for public safety and said he worked to secure funding to place AED’s in all of the city’s police cars and in the fire department’s first response vehicles.

Smith is a fifth generation Newton County resident who graduated from Newton High School in 1986.

He graduated from EMT/paramedic school at DeKalb Technical College and then worked as an ambulance paramedic for 19 years.

Smith and his wife Gidget have been married for 20 years and have two daughters; the family attends Covington First United Methodist Church, where Smith is active. He is also active on several local boards.

Qualifying info

Qualifying for Covington elections is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Aug. 26–30. The qualifying fee is $270 for Covington council seats, which represents 3 percent of the annual salary of the position.

Also up for election this year are councilwomen Hawnethia Williams, who holds the Post 2 west seat, and Ocie Franklin, who holds the Post 3 west seat.

The two women represent the western half of Covington; neither has yet officially announced they are running for re-election.

Residents in the western half of Covington can only vote for the two west ward candidates, while residents on the east half will only vote in the one east ward race.

Other cities hold their qualifying at their respective city halls during the same week of August. Full details on other open seats will be published later.