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November 2018
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November 6, 2018 General Election Results

CARTHAGE, Tenn.—Results are in for the November 6, 2018, General Election in Smith County, Tennessee. Polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on November 6, and voters had the opportunity to vote early between October 17 and November 1.

Early voting numbers were strong all across the state. Across Tennessee, 1,378,840 voters cast their vote early. 3,810 of those voters were from Smith County.

On Election Day, many more Tennesseans made their voices heard. In Smith County, 2,795  voters showed up to the polls on November 6, bringing the total number of votes cast in Smith County to 6,605. This amounts to a voter turnout of 55.87%. 

Reports from the Smith County Election Commission detailing local election results began to come in around 7:45 p.m. on the night of November 6.

Results from the City of Carthage were among the first to come in. 

Sarah Marie Smith was elected Mayor of Carthage. She narrowly edged out her opponent, Incumbent Mayor Donnie Dennis by a total of 27 votes. Smith received 313 votes, compared to 286 votes for Dennis. 

Cole Ebel, Sam Petty, and Billy “Bill” K. Reece were elected Aldermen of Carthage.

369 (72.64%) Carthage citizens voted for the sale of wine in food stores, compared to 139 (27.36%) who voted against the referendum. 

Voters in the city of Gordonsville also elected three city Aldermen. John Potts, Michael Harpe, and Charles Proffit will now sit on the Gordonsville City Council. 

County-wide, voters voted for the repeal of the Sales Tax Referendum by a total of 3412 (58.36%) votes in favor and 2434 (41.64%) votes against.

Additionally, Terri Lynn Weaver will retain her seat as Tennessee State Representative. Weaver ran unopposed and received 4885 votes in Smith County, totaling 95.39% of votes cast in the county.

Mark Pody will also retain his seat as State Senator for District 17 in Tennessee. He won over Democratic opponent Mari Alice Carfi. In Smith County, Pody received 4052 votes (67.28%), compared to 1966 votes (32.64%) cast for Carfi.

John Rose has officially been declared the winner of the United States House of Representatives race. Rose will be the next Representative for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. Rose won out over Democratic opponent Dr. Dawn Barlow and Independent opponents David Ross and Lloyd Dunn. In Smith County, Rose received 4576 votes (75.81%). 

Marsha Blackburn emerged victorious over her opponent Phil Bredesen in the highly contested U.S. Senate race. Blackburn received 4310 votes (66.20%) in Smith County, compared to 2108 (32.38%) votes for Bredesen. 

Bill Lee was elected Governor of Tennessee, emerging victorious over Democratic opponent Karl Dean. Lee carried 72.38% of the vote in Smith County, compared to 26.78% for Dean.

For a complete list of election percentages and results in Smith County, visit the Smith County Election Commission website. 

For state-wide totals, visit the website of the Tennessee Secretary of State.

John Rose wins Tennessee’s 6th Congressional Seat

COOKEVILLE, TN – John Rose has won the race for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. The race was called shortly after 7pm with Rose ahead by 41%. Rose was the Republican nominee for the open seat held by Congressman Diane Black that includes all or part of 19 counties east and northeast of Nashville.

“I am excited to get to work in Congress for the people of the 6th District,” Rose said. Rose is a solid conservative who is a native of the district. He is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, endorsed by the NRA, and is 100% pro-life.

Rose has pledged to take Tennessee values to Washington and get Washington out of Tennessee by using a common-sense approach to solving the nation’s problems. Rose stated, “We need to take on our debt issue instead of shy away from it, build the wall, support our president, and create a healthcare system that works for all Americans. We have a lot of work to do, but I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

The Rose Campaign knocked on over 60,000 doors and made over 80,000 phone calls to voters over the course of the campaign. Rose attended hundreds of events across the district and will keep that same energy of meeting constituents in the future. “I am honored by the support I have received in this race and I will do my absolute best to represent my family, friends, and community here in the 6th District,” Rose said.

Sarah Marie Smith elected Mayor of Carthage

CARTHAGE, Tenn.—Results are in for the highly contested mayor race in Carthage, Tennessee. On November 6, 2018, voters in Carthage decided that Sarah Marie Smith would be the next mayor of their town.

Sarah Marie Smith narrowly emerged victorious over her opponent, Incumbent Mayor Donnie Dennis. 

Smith received a total of 313 votes, amounting to 51.74% of votes cast in the mayoral race. Dennis received 286 votes, amounting to 47.27%.

Early voting turnout strong ahead of November 6 election

CARTHAGE, Tenn.— Many Smith County citizens took advantage of early voting ahead of tomorrow’s General Election. According to reports published by the Tennessee Secretary of State, a grand total of 3,793 Smith County voters participated in early voting.

Four years ago, only 2,274 voters chose to vote early in the November 2014 General Election, accounting for just under half of total votes cast.

Early voting in this election cycle began on October 17 and continued through November 1. 

Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Registered voters will be able to cast their votes at their precinct location anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Read below to see the voting locations for all 8 Districts in Smith County:

District 1 – Defeated 

The Carver Barn

315 Defeated Creek Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 2 – Tanglewood 

Smith County Motor Company

211 Dixon Springs Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 3 – New Middleton

New Middleton Elementary School

402 New Middleton Highway

Gordonsville, TN 38563


District 4 – Rock City

Union Heights Elementary School

663 Lebanon Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 5 – Gordonsville

Gordonsville Municipal Building

63 Main Street East

Gordonsville, TN 38563


District 6 – Carthage 

Chamber of Commerce

939 Upper Ferry Road 

Carthage, TN 37030


District 7 – South Carthage

Senior Citizens Building

120 Pauline Gore Way, Suite B

Carthage, TN 37030


District 8 – Elmwood

Forks River Elementary School

611 Cookeville Highway

Elmwood, TN 38560


The November 2018 ballot will include candidates for Tennessee Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (6th Congressional District), TN State Senate (17th District), and TN House of Representatives (40th District). Smith County citizens will also be able to vote for or against the Sales Tax Referendum.

Citizens of Carthage will cast their votes for Mayor of Carthage and three City Aldermen. They will also be able to vote for or against the sale of wine at retail and food stores in Carthage. 

Citizens of Gordonsville will vote for three City Aldermen. 

Please remember that Smith County residents must be registered to vote and must be able to present a valid photo ID issued by the Tennessee or U.S. government in order to vote in the November 6 election. 

For more information, visit the Smith County Election Commission website.

Community Update: Carthage Mayor, Donnie Dennis

Since Donnie Dennis has taken over as Mayor of Carthage, the town has seen vast improvements throughout all of the city.

Recently, SCI had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mayor Dennis about these accomplishments, and what his plans are for the town in the future.

Paid for by candidate

John Potts announces candidacy for Gordonsville City Council

My name is John Potts and I am running for Gordonsville’s town council. I was nominated for the vacated seat of town council two years ago and gladly accepted. I’m offered a unique view of the town and its residents because I’m an employee of the town. I see their individual needs and hear each individual concern.

I have been blessed to grow up in our small town and know the importance of it’s small town values. However, change is coming to our town. We are at a crossroad of growth, both commercial and residential. I want to see Gordonsville be on the forefront of growth in Smith County with our unique access to the interstate. I’d like to see Gordonsville communicate and work closer with the county, Carthage and South Carthage as well as the entire Upper Cumberland region. I know we will have our growing pains, but I will do all I can to keep Gordonsville a wonderful place to work and raise a family. I would like to better utilize government agencies that are available to small growing communities like ours.

I’m married to Heather Potts and we have two kids. Ethan is 20 and Trinity is 16.  Heather, Ethan and I have all graduated from GHS as Trinity will in 2020. We are members of Gordonsville First Baptist.

I’m invested in our town as much as I possibly can be. As always, I will be available when needed to the town and its residents. I look forward to being able to continue my service. I appreciate your support.

Sam Petty announces candidacy for Carthage City Council

Sam Petty

I am Sam Petty, and I am announcing my candidacy for Alderman of Carthage.

I am a 3rd generation lifelong citizen of our town. My wife, Pam, and I have raised two children, our son Matt, and our daughter Lindsey Petty Dixon. Both children were educated at our local schools.

I have 39 years experience running businesses as well as 28 years involved with Chambers of Commerce in Tennessee. These experiences have, I believe, helped me to understand that Carthage is not an island, but we are operating in a regional and “global” world. These experiences will lend help toward addressing Carthage’s future problems. 

My experiences with 14 counties has revealed to me that Carthage over the years has been a very well run town. That being said, we are facing some infrastructure situations which I hope I can help to address with my regional experience.

I will not clutter our town with yard signs and will not bang on your door interrupting your family time asking for your vote. I do hope you will think about my experience, my love for this town, and my willingness to do my best at all times to work toward a common goal: to keep Carthage the growing, friendly, and safe place that we are proud to call home. 

Early Voting Begins Across Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Early voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Wed., Oct. 17.

Early voting runs Mondays through Saturdays and ends Thursday, Nov. 1. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The voter registration deadline ahead of this election was Tuesday, Oct. 9.

“Tennesseans broke August early voting records as they selected nominees and elected county officials, and I know interest remains high as voters prepare to select leaders across all levels of government on the November ballot,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Early voting offers voters more opportunities to find a convenient time to cast their ballots.”

Voters can download the GoVoteTN app, available in the App Store or Google Play, to view voter-specific information. Voters can find early voting and Election Day polling locations, view and mark sample ballots and much more. The platform is also available at GoVoteTN.com.

“Each county election commission sets their own locations and hours for early voting, and voters can check information for their county before they head to the polls by using our app,” Secretary Hargett said.

State law requires polling locations and the area within a 100-foot boundary surrounding each entrance remain campaign-free zones. Tennessee law prohibits the display or distribution of campaign materials and the solicitation of votes for or against any person, party or question on the ballot in these areas.

Tennesseans voting early or on Election Day should remember to bring valid photo identification with them to the polls. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as well as photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.

More information about what types of ID are acceptable can be found here: What ID is required when voting? <https://t.e2ma.net/click/izk9l0/uklxtt/at2wcgh> or by calling toll free 1-877-850-4959.

Smith County Republican Picnic set for October 11, 2018

The Smith County GOP and the Smith County Young Republicans will host a Smith County Republican Picnic on Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. The picnic will be held at Dr. David McDonald’s farm in South Carthage at 137 McCall Street.

The picnic menu will feature barbecue, chips, drinks, and desserts.

All republican political candidates are invited to attend.

Senator Mark Pody, Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, and Congressional candidate Mr. John Rose have confirmed that they will be in attendance.

You can RSVP and learn more about the picnic on Facebook.

Smith County Insider Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet set for October 15

The Smith County Insider Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet will be held on Monday night, October 15, 2018. The event will begin with a Meet and Greet at 6:00pm, followed by a Forum led and moderated by Matthew Inyart at 7:00pm. The event will take place at the Smith County Ag Center located at 159 Ag Center Lane – Carthage, TN 37030.

The Smith County Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet offers Smith County community members the opportunity to become more informed citizens. *ALL candidates are invited to attend, but must register with Smith County Insider by October 12, 2018. A list of confirmed candidates will be updated and listed leading up to the event.

All candidates running for Gordonsville and Carthage Alderman, Carthage Mayor, State Representative, State Senator, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, and Governor of Tennessee are invited to attend.

The event is sponsored by the Smith County Democratic Party and the Smith County Young Republicans.

Candidates will have the opportunity to speak for 3 minutes.


Tennessee Secretary of State Cautions Voters Against Misleading Election Information

Below is a press release issued by Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett concerning voter registration:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning voters to be aware of misleading information regarding voter registration as the deadline to register for the November election approaches on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

The Office of the Secretary of State has received reports of groups contacting registered voters and telling them that they are not registered to vote. Others have reported receiving pre-populated voter registration forms for individuals who are deceased and have been removed from the voting rolls.

The National Association of Secretaries of State has warned states about a scam where an organization is making calls and offering to register voters by phone. While these calls have not been reported in Tennessee, voters should be aware that they cannot register by talking to a person on the phone.

“To avoid misleading information, I urge voters to come straight to the source,” Secretary Hargett said. “Tennessee’s election officials are dedicated to making sure voters have all the information they need to participate in the November election.”

For accurate information regarding voter registration in Tennessee, voters are encouraged to visit GoVoteTN.com to register to vote or check their registration status. Voters can also contact the Division of Elections at 1-877-850-4959 or their county election commission with any questions about voter registration.

Registering to vote is easy in Tennessee. Tennessee citizens may register by-mail or online.  Online voter registration allows any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security to register online.

Voters can also download the GoVoteTN app, available in the App Store or Google Play, to view voter-specific information. Voters can find early voting and Election Day polling locations, view and mark sample ballots and much more.

Matthew Watts announces bid for re-election to Carthage City Council

Matthew Watts

CARTHAGE—Small business owner and incumbent City Councilman, Matthew Watts, has announced his campaign for a second term to the Carthage City Council. First elected in 2014, the council has accomplished several projects with Watts’ leadership, including the new walking track, water tank, and improvements to both the water and sewer plants.

“With the great progress the City of Carthage has seen in the past four years, I’ve been blessed and honored to see just how much we can accomplish. I hope that with your support and vote, I can help continue this growth and progress of our great town,” Watts said.

Watts is a lifelong resident of Carthage and has one daughter, Margaret (6). He is the owner of 301 IT (formally Digital Square) and attends North Carthage Baptist Church. Matthew is very involved in the community in Carthage where he is a member of the Masonic Lodge, The Shriners, President of the South Carthage Civitan Club, and a board member for the Smith County Heritage Museum.

Sarah Marie Smith announces candidacy for Carthage Mayor

I, Sarah Marie Smith, am pleased to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Carthage, Tennessee. Carthage is my hometown, the place where I was born and raised. I care about its people, its history, and its future and would be honored to serve the people of Carthage as your Mayor.

My Roots

I feel blessed that several generations of my family have lived in Smith County, three generations right here in Carthage. My father, Ervin Smith, was a lifelong educator, serving for many years as principal of Smith County High School. My mother, Mary Etta Smith, worked as a secretary in the County Extension Office, helping 4-H members with their projects and record books and assisting FCE clubs. Their years of service to others made a deep and lasting impression on me as a young person.

My brother, Sam Smith, is retired as an Historical Archeologist with the Tennessee Division of Archeology. Throughout his career, he has shared the history of our state and region with others.

I graduated from Smith County High School and received my undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where I was elected Vice- President of Student Government. After graduating from college, I worked as a flight attendant with Delta Airlines, serving hundreds of people each month on flights across the United States. Later, I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked as an actress as well as teaching in a public high school.

Several years ago, I returned to Carthage and decided to go back to college for a graduate degree. I received a Master of Arts in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University and began my work as a Mediator listed with the Tennessee Supreme Court. As such, I have worked with cases that included the Davidson County Juvenile Court, the Victim-Offender Program, and other civil and family disputes.

In addition to the mediations, I teach organizations how to manage conflict and help them plan strategies for the future.

My current and past affiliations include Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators – Board of Directors, Leadership Opportunity Smith County, Rotary Club, Smith Co. Historical and Genealogical Society – Vice President, Smith County Fair volunteer, Women in Film and Television Nashville – Board of Directors, Tennessee Screenwriters Association, Tennessee Women in Green, CASA Wilson/Smith Counties Board of Directors, candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives, member of Carthage United Methodist Church.

Why I’m Running

Two requirements for a city government to function well are transparency and citizen involvement.

If elected Mayor, I will ensure transparency in our city government. You will be informed about city meetings well in advance so you can attend and share your thoughts about the issues at hand. I will make readily available at City Hall a copy of the yearly budget for citizens to see how our tax dollars are being spent.

I will hold monthly meetings for residents of Carthage to talk about what is working well in the community and things that might be improved… and to share ideas for how this might be accomplished.

Each week, I will meet with department supervisors to hear how things are going throughout the town. There will also be an open door for employees to talk about ways to make our city services even better.

Our businesses are a vital part of the community. The tax base they contribute is essential to our economy. Their owners will be given a seat at the table and a say in how the city can help make them stronger.

Our town has a limited amount of land space. Development needs to be done in a smart manner. If variances to zoning codes are requested, people will be invited to speak to the impact of this change to their neighborhoods.

Open communication is imperative if we are to have a city government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

What’s At Stake

There’s so much to offer in our hometown .. a river front .. recreation on the Caney Fork and Cumberland Rivers .. historic sites .. a lovely Courthouse .. a downtown square with businesses housed in amazing historic architecture.

But the most important part of Carthage is our PEOPLE. Working together, we can make our wonderful town an even better place to live, work, and play. If elected, I promised to do everything in my power to lead the way.

If you’re on board to help make our wonderful town even better, I would greatly appreciate your vote for Mayor of Carthage!

Election Day: November 6, 2018 Early Voting: Sept. 17 – Nov. 1, 2018

(For more about Sarah Marie Smith ~ www.time2mediate.com)

Cole Ebel announces candidacy for Carthage City Council

Cole Ebel

My name is Cole Ebel and I am officially announcing my candidacy for Carthage City Council. My objective is to bring transparency into government, especially local government.

When our form of government was founded, many understood the reasons for divisions of government; divisions that kept power in check. These divisions being the Executive, Legislative and Judicial side. These divisions many times are forgotten at the local level. Too many times, I watch all of these branches work as one, not challenging thoughts, but going along to get along.

We need to work more as a community and rely less on the government. We shouldn’t have to ask permission to exercise individual rights. We shouldn’t have to pay extortion fees to trade freely.

As a representative of not only the citizens of Carthage, but the businesses of Carthage, I will promise to question everything brought before me. I will always raise a motion or second a motion, this way a vote is called upon and citizens can see where their representatives stand on issues, instead of hiding behind a question failing to call.

We do not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem. Because of this, I will never advocate raising taxes, we already pay too much.

I will encourage small business growth and find ways to get government out of the way so businesses can open and operate without the oversight of big brother.

I will work to find solutions to the opioid crisis through medical help instead of continually criminalizing a medical problem.

I will work to find fiscally sound solutions to problems instead of throwing money at the problem. There are always more than two paths forward.

I will work to have the community more involved in decisions that affect their every day lives, with less secretive projects popping up and more canvasing on what is best for the community.

I will work to find ways to give our local businesses a vote in politics. It is a shame that we founded this country on the basis of “No Taxation Without Representation” yet so many businesses in Carthage have zero representation. I will represent those businesses.

Last, I will always stand on principle above all. This is not a position I am running for to elevate myself, but a position I am seeking to represent the citizen. I cannot do this alone nor would I seek to. We must do this together.

I humbly ask for your vote on November 6th. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to know more about my positions, you may contact me at ColeEbel.com. Thank you.


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