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Former commissioner to run for mayor
Sampie Smith-pix
Sampie Smith
Former county commissioner and retired teacher Sampie W. Smith has announced his intent to run for mayor of Hinesville in the Nov. 6 election.
Smith has lived in Hinesville since being stationed at Fort Stewart as a young lieutenant in 1970.  
“Because of my training and experiences, it seems like a logical thing for me to do. I have been a public servant since graduating from Georgia Southern in 1969 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in history and a minor in political science.
I taught American government at Bradwell Institute for 27 years before retiring to be a full-time county commissioner in 2000,” Smith said.  
Although the race is non-partisan, the former representative of the sixth County Commission district (all within the confines of the city limits of Hinesville) believes his long-time acquaintances with Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, House Majority Leader Jerry Keene, and also with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and Congressman Jack Kingston will stand him as mayor in good stead with powerful people on the state and national levels of government.
Smith also maintains that even though he never used his law degree he received by going to school at night at John Marshall Law School, his having taught law and society, business law, criminal law, and American government for Saint Leo University and Brewton-Parker College and his having served as a magistrate judge from 1990 until 1994, gives him some knowledge about the rules of evidence — something that could be critical in presiding over administrative hearings with which the council must contend three or four times a year.
In announcing his intention to seek this office, Smith said he plans on conducting a door-to-door campaign.
Initially, he has identified three areas of concern he believes the public has: crime, infrastructure and development.
“Having been the victim of burglary of my home last November, it is my desire to have our police force educate us, the general public, in how to organize against criminal elements,” he said.
Concerning infrastructure, Smith wants to address the issues of flooding and traffic.
Finally, although the city of Hinesville is within the top 15 largest metropolitan areas in Georgia, its growth is not subsiding.
 “It is not a question of whether
we are going to grow; it’s a question of how we are going to grow.  I want there to be growth of good, clean industry and responsible planning for residential areas.  To that end when I become mayor it is my intention to leave my job as Executive Director of the Liberty County Records Center so as to be able to be a full-time mayor and ambassador for our city whether this means traveling to other cities or visiting our neighbors at Fort Stewart,” concluded Smith.

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