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Mayoral candidate says thanks
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Editor, With Nov. 6th having come and gone, my role as a candidate for mayor has ended. 
I want to take this opportunity to thank those who supported me by stuffing envelopes and sealing them. I want to thank those who waved at traffic with me and who displayed signs in their yards.
I want to thank those who financially supported me, especially my former students who don’t live in Hinesville and yet believed in me so much and gave so much, that I had to publicly report their contributions.
I want to thank the people who voted for me. You are the most generous people on the planet. And, finally, I wish to thank those of you who kept me in your prayers. I genuinely was sustained by Him because you asked the Good Sheperd to look out for me and give me strength throughout this campaign.
I have already been asked several times about my endorsing one candidate over another.  Both men are good men.
One demonstrated throughout the campaign his steadfast dedication to his wife and family. He is a wonderful provider for them and has led many worthwhile civic organizations. 
The other candidate was a good student of mine when I taught for Saint Leo College. Previously he served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
I have known both of these men for years and they are both capable of leading this city.
There are several reasons I choose not to insinuate myself in the runoff of Dec. 4.
1) As head of the Liberty County Records Center I have some dozen agencies that I must serve and one is the city of Hinesville. I want to have a good rapport with the new mayor, no matter who it is
2) I do not think it would be right for me to ask my supporters to blindly follow my instruction — what’s more I don't think they would anyway.
Each will use his or her own mind to decide what is right for the city of Hinesville.
3) As a county commissioner I cast hundreds and hundreds of votes openly. During the recent campaign, I had to take a public stand on a wide range of issues. 
While I will continue to be a public servant, I reserve the right to return to being a private citizen and casting a secret ballot.
I would urge all who voted to vote again Dec. 4 or the week before at the Registrar’s Office. 
If one were eligible to vote but did not then do so this time, he still is allowed to vote in the runoff.
Once again, thanks to you who voted. I know the lines were frustratingly lengthy and time-consuming but voting is the keystone of a democratic government.
Some ninety-nine percent of citizens never put their names on a ballot. Encourage those of us who do by taking the time to vote.
My people know that I did not do everything I could but that I did my best.
Encourage your candidate. 
Be sure to vote in advance Nov. 26-30 or on election day, Dec. 4.
Sampie W. Smith
Private Citizen and for candidate for mayor
of Hinesville
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