DT McCall & Sons
Ad Placeholder
Mary Alice Carfi Attorney at Law
Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition
Casey Owen DDS
Lebanon Antique Mall

Latest list of candidates for August 2, 2018 election; Petitions available until April 5

(Smith County Insider Press) Carthage, Tenn. – 2018 is scheduled to be a big year for elections in Tennessee and Smith County. Several top county offices will be up for election including County Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and all 24 County Commissioner seats.

Election Day will be on August 2, 2018. Early voting will be held at the Turner Building from July 13 until July 28. Deadline to qualify is April 5, 2018 at noon.

As of 2/19/18, the following individuals have picked up petitions (Bold denotes that the individual has qualified):

  • TN Senate – 17th District — Mark Pody
  • TN House of Representatives – 40th District (Primary) — Chad Z. Williams and Terri Lynn Weaver
  • State Executive Committeeman – 17th District — Dwayne Craighead (R)
  • State Executive Committeewoman – 17th District — Carol Brown Andrews (D) and Jennifer Franklin Winfree (R)
  • Smith County Mayor — Mark B. Jones, Ricky Slack, Willie B. Bane, Johnie Tackett, Jeff Mason, and Billy M. Woodard
  • County Commission – Defeated – District 1 — Glen Reece, David J. Morgan, Kerry R. West and Terry Givens
  • County Commission – Tanglewood – District 2 — Jason Stewart, Greta K. Kirby and Larry Eddlemon
  • County Commission – New Middleton – District 3 — Joshua Brown, Dalton Paschal, Daniel D. Cripps and Jimmie Winfree
  • County Commission – Rock City – District 4 — Matthew J. Inyart, Erika Ebel, Shannon Minchey and Ronald Shumake
  • County Commission – Gordonsville – District 5 — Colby McKinney, Linda Nixon and Todd Smith
  • County Commission – Carthage – District 6 — Andy Rutherford, Charles Kent, and Barbara Kannapel
  • County Commission – South Carthage – District 7 — Tommy Bane, Randy Lee Glover, Steven Lish, Joey Nixon and Dennis J. Hackett
  • County Commission – Elmwood – District 8 — Thomas A. Gibbs, David Gross, and Frank Eldon Woodard.
  • Sheriff — Steve Hopper and Michael F. Guerra Jr.
  • Trustee — Lee Ann Williams
  • Circuit Court Clerk — Tommy Turner
  • County Clerk — Clifa Norris
  • Register of Deeds — Peggy Lancaster Massey and Jerri Lin Vaden-Malone
  • School Board – New Middleton – District 3 — Jeremy V. Johnson
  • School Board – Rock City – District 4 — Joe E. Taylor
  • School Board – Carthage – District 6 — Ricky D. Shoulders and Pat Nixon
  • School Board – Elmwood – District 8 — Tina L. Gantenbein and Scotty L. Lewis
  • South Carthage Mayor – Hollis Mullinax, Timothy Harold Grisham and Barney Gann
  • South Carthage Alderman – Ward 1 — Shane A. Gregory
  • South Carthage Alderman – Ward 2 — David A. Silcox Jr.

Smith County Insider will keep you up-to-date on all election news. Be sure to check our new Politics Page for regular updates.

The following is a list of positions that will be up for election.

  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House of Representatives – 6th Congressional District (Primary)
  • Governor of Tennessee
  • TN Senate – 17th District (Primary)
  • TN House of Representatives – 40th District (Primary)
  • State Executive Committeeman – 17th District
  • State Executive Committeewoman – 17th District
  • Smith County Mayor
  • County Commission – Defeated – District 1
  • County Commission – Tanglewood – District 2
  • County Commission – New Middleton – District 3
  • County Commission – Rock City – District 4
  • County Commission – Gordonsville – District 5
  • County Commission – Carthage – District 6
  • County Commission – South Carthage – District 7
  • County Commission – Elmwood – District 8
  • Trustee
  • Sheriff
  • Circuit Court Clerk
  • County Clerk
  • Register of Deeds
  • School Board – New Middleton – District 3
  • School Board – Rock City – District 4
  • School Board – Carthage – District 6
  • School Board – Elmwood – District 8
  • Town of South Carthage Mayor
  • Town of South Carthage Alderman – Ward 1
  • Town of South Carthage Alderman – Ward 2


Mary Alice Carfi announces run for state Senate District 17

Mary Alice Carfi

Press Release:

 LEBANON, TENNESSEE – Today, Wilson County attorney and Democrat Mary Alice Carfi, announces she will run for the state Senate seat she narrowly lost during the Special Election in 2017.

In the two-and-a-half month-Special Election, Carfi came within 307 votes, or 2.6 percent, of defeating her Republican opponent in a solidly red district that consists of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties.

“We came incredibly close to winning the District 17 seat in the special election last year,” Carfi noted. “Because many volunteers put in a lot of hard work, we won three of the six counties in the district and lost Wilson by only 79 votes.

“Since the special election on Dec. 19, people throughout District 17 have encouraged me to run again,” Carfi said. “People who weren’t able to volunteer in the special election are already stepping forward to do so in 2018. I can feel how excited and hopeful my fellow Tennesseans are for a chance to make their voices heard.”

“I am running because it is time to take our state back,” Carfi said. “It’s time to focus on the issues that matter. It’s time to show our children that by giving others an opportunity to improve their education, their jobs and their healthcare, we make our state a better place to live.

As an attorney in a solo-practice in Mt. Juliet, Carfi can relate to the issues that affect the small business owners throughout District 17.

“People are ready for our government to do something different. Our current senator is continuing down the same path he took in the House of Representatives. It is time for a change,” she said.

“We need representation that will make the lives of our citizens better by working to expand Medicaid, advocating for a wage that allows workers to provide for their families, and demanding equal pay for equal work for women.”

Carfi believes in creating real jobs for Tennessee workers with wages that can sustain their families. She believes in letting teachers teach and students learn. “And I believe that NO ONE should have to decide between feeding their family and paying for their prescriptions,” she added.

“I am running because I care about the people of our state. It is our state legislators’ job to pass laws that improve our state. My representatives haven’t been focusing on the things that matter. When hospitals are closing, and people can’t afford medical care, it doesn’t matter which bathroom a person uses,” Carfi said.

As a general practice attorney, Carfi often works with people who have differing opinions. “It’s my job to bring these people together; to help them compromise when and where it’s necessary, so that a positive result can be agreed upon by all parties.

“It’s time for some common sense in Tennessee’s Senate, and I ask for your support and your vote so I can bring this to our legislative body.”

Carfi grew up in Smith County, the daughter of Don and Phyllis Eckel of Gordonsville. She is the granddaughter of the late Pete and Evelyn Watts, who owned Watts Angus Farm. Pete Watts was a well-known building contractor in Middle Tennessee and owner of Watts Construction Company.

She has one daughter, Alexia, 9, and is a member of the Carthage United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir. She and her husband, Jamie, are both members of the Bert Coble Singers in Lebanon. She also serves on the Bert Coble Singers Leadership Team.

Carfi is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the 15th Judicial District Bar Association. She is a graduate of Smith County High School and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Nashville School of Law. She was chosen as the Best Attorney in Mt. Juliet in 2018 and 2016 by the readers of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet newspaper.

For more information about Carfi and her campaign, visit her website at www.electmaryalice.com and follow her on social media accounts on Facebook, ElectMaryAlice; Twitter @ElectMaryAlice; and Instagram, @ElectMaryAlice. Emails may be sent to info@maryalicecarfi.com or call 615-547-8046.

Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, Department of Education Announce Critical Growth Funds

Terri Lynn Weaver

This month, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and the Tennessee Department of Education announced that Smith County Schools have received district growth funding to support education initiatives in the Smith County. Specifically, Smith County Schools received $35,500.

This funding is a direct result of a Republican-led effort to not only fully fund education in Tennessee but also provide $18 million to cover school district growth.
These significant investments in many Tennessee school districts will allow growing schools to maintain the necessary resources so that they can continue offering quality education for our state’s young leaders.

“As our community grows, so should our schools. I’m delighted to be a part of such a critical effort to provide the resources that our educators need to invest in our students,” said Representative Weaver.

This funding has been so well received by parents, education officials, and teachers that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam added another $18 million in growth funds to his Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

Terri Lynn Weaver serves as Chairwoman of the House Transportation Subcommittee. She is also a member of the House Transportation Committee, as well as the House Education Administration & Planning Committee. Weaver lives in Lancaster and represents House District 40, which includes Smith, Trousdale, and part of DeKalb and Sumner Counties.

She can be reached by email at: Rep.Terri.Lynn.Weaver@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2192.

Andrews seeks 17th District Democratic Executive Committee Seat

Carol Brown Andrews

District Encompasses Cannon, Clay, Dekalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson Counties

RIDDLETON, TN – Veteran Democratic consultant and activist Carol Brown Andrews is running for the Democratic Executive Committee in State Senate District 17, which includes Cannon, Clay, Dekalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson Counties.

“I am coming into this job prepared and willing to work hard for all the people in each of our district’s counties who are interested in recruiting and electing people to local offices to the U.S. Senate who will seek solutions instead of obstructions,” Carol said.

“Making sure our suburban and rural communities are heard in Nashville and Washington is critical. I have the experience and passion to work with each of our district’s local parties to ensure our voices are well represented.”

Each party in each state senatorial district elects a female and male executive committee member on the popular ballot during the August elections. Carol seeks the votes of Democrats in each of District 17’s counties in August to represent them on the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

About Carol Brown Andrews

Carol is a partner in Grindstone Research LLP, a research firm based in Nashville and Lexington, KY. She and her partners provide research and strategic services to political, non-profits and corporate clients in more than 40 states and abroad. A member of the Association of American Political Consultants (AAPC), Carol has been awarded two “Pollies,” the bipartisan organization’s highest awards judged by peers, for best opposition research in the nation. She frequently appears on “Inside Politics” with Pat Nolan on WTVF-Channel 5+ as a Democratic commentator.

Carol previously served as communications director for the 2014 retention campaign for the Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice Campaigns “Fair Courts for Tennessee,” for former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. in his 2006 U.S. Senate bid and as Press Secretary to former Congressman Bob Clement in his 2002 Senate run. Carol was Tennessee communications director for the presidential campaign of General Wesley Clark in 2004. She has either run communications or managed U.S. Senate, Congressional, gubernatorial and legislative races in Maine, Kentucky and Tennessee. She also served as Communications Director for former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and former Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Carol served as a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston and attended the historic 2008 DNC in Denver witnessing the nomination of former President Barack Obama. She has been active in recruiting Democrats to run for office and working to help them succeed.

Carol attended Smith County public schools, graduating from Smith County High School and earning at Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. A native of Lebanon, Carol grew up in the Beasleys Bend Community of Smith County on the farm that has been in her family for more than 150 years, and where she has resided most of her life.

2018 Reagan Dinner; Special Guest Mark “Oz” Geist, Co-Author of “13 Hours”

The Smith County GOP just announced the speaker for their 2018 Reagan Dinner. The speaker is scheduled to be Mark “Oz” Geist. The annual Reagan Dinner will be held at the Smith County Ag Center on March 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm. Ticket price is $40 per person. To purchase tickets, call (615) 489-5594 or (615) 418-6098.

Mark “Oz Geist Bio:

Mark “Oz” Geist is a member of the Annex Security Team that fought the Battle of Benghazi, Libya, from September 11 to September 12, 2012. A Colorado native, Mr. Geist joined the United States Marine Corps in 1984. During his time in the service, he served in Barracks Duty in the Philippines, then with the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines Golf Company, as well as the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon. He then was chosen to serve in the newly formed Marine Cadre program as an Anti-/Counter- Terrorism Instructor. Upon the completion of a very successful tour and re-enlistment, Mr. Geist changed his military occupational specialty to the Intelligence field, specializing in Interrogation Translation. He attended language school where he studied Persian Farsi.

After serving 12 years in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Geist became a Deputy Sheriff in Teller County, Colorado. In that role, he was assigned as liaison with the Vice Narcotics and Intelligence Unit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as an Investigator for Crimes against Children. Certified as a Forensic Interviewer of children, he investigated numerous case of abuse in which he helped to secure convictions of the perpetrators. He then took a job as Chief of Police in Fowler, Colorado. After leaving the Fowler Police Department, Mr. Geist began his own business in private investigations as well as bounty hunting and bail bonds.

In 2004, Mr. Geist began doing contract security work in Iraq. He worked for Triple Canopy, providing Personal Security Details for Department of State personnel in Baquba, Iraq. Upon the completion of that contract he worked for USIS, the United States Investigative Services, training Iraqi SWAT teams and Personal Security Details. He also served as a mentor/advisor to the Personal Security Detail of Dr. Ayad Allawi, the former Prime Minister of Iraq.

Mr. Geist finished his career as a security contractor in Benghazi, Libya, where he was credited with helping to save the lives of more than 25 Americans. Mr. Geist is still recovering from the injuries he sustained in the battle. He is a co-author of the bestselling book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.”

Billy Woodard announces candidacy for Smith County Mayor

Press Release: 

Billy Woodard

Billy Woodard announces his candidacy for Smith County Mayor in the upcoming August 2018 election.

“I would like to let voters know that I will be running for the office of Smith County Mayor in the upcoming August 2018 election. I came to this decision after learning our current Mayor will not be seeking reelection,” stated Woodard.

Woodard is a lifelong resident of Smith County and the eighth generation to live on his family farm. His parents were the late Henry Woodard and Cleora Lancaster Woodard.

Woodard expressed, “I am grateful to have been raised by two Godly parents in Smith County. My parents raised me in church and taught me the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity.”

“I am a product of the Smith County Education System. I attended our community school, Lancaster Elementary, and then attended Gordonsville High School,” said Woodard.

Woodard is a 1969 graduate of Gordonsville High School and a 1974 graduate of Lee University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Science, Chemistry emphasis, with a minor in business, arts, and Bible study. Woodard continued his education with several courses in economic development, mining, industrial safety, business, and chamber management. Woodard currently holds a valid General Contractors License in the state of Tennessee.

Woodard stated, “I have strived to continue a path of learning in my life to equip me for any opportunity to serve my community and provide for my family.”

Woodard has been married to his wife, Susie (Malone) Woodard, for 44 years. They currently reside in the Lancaster Community with their 7 year-old granddaughter, Tara. Susie is currently employed with the Smith County School system as Assistant Principal at Carthage Elementary. She previously served 9 years as principal of New Middleton Elementary and 11 years as a first-grade teacher at Gordonsville Elementary.

Woodard and his family are actively involved as volunteers with the Living Water Ministries food distribution program and members of Living Water Church in Gordonsville. He is also active in Rotary, Lions Club, Keep Smith County Beautiful, Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition, Smith County Heritage Museum, and several other civic and volunteer organizations.

Woodard is a life-long businessman and has been a small business owner for over 30 years. He stated, “My company has supported my family and several other families for over 30 years. My company has conducted business in all 50 United States and several countries. The company remains in operation under new management and ownership.” For the past 5 years Woodard has served as the Executive Director of the Smith County Chamber of Commerce.

“I have been given the privilege of being a County Commissioner in the 5th district since 1994. I have also served on Budget and Finance, Roads and Bridges, Courthouse and Jail, Ag Center, Rules of Order, Solid Waste, and Smith County Living committees,” says Woodard. Woodard continued to say, “I am especially proud of my sixteen-year membership on the Budget and Finance Committee. This is a committee where we commissioners work together as a team to manage our county’s budget and provide the best possible services to taxpayers and our employees. Smith County has an excellent bond rating and is one of the most fiscally sound counties in one of the most fiscally sound states in our nation. I am proud to be a Tennessean and equally proud to be a lifelong Smith Countian.”

Woodard expressed, “I want to thank the people of Smith County for their continued support. It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of Smith County. I ask and hope you will vote for me in the August election and allow me to serve as your next County Mayor. Working together, we can secure our future with continued progress.”

Paid for by Billy Woodard for Mayor

Conservative Bob Corlew Announces Candidacy for the 6th Congressional District of Tennessee

Veteran, former judge, and proud “grandpa” dedicated to public service, not political service.

MT. JULIET, TENNESSEE – Today, conservative, U.S. Army veteran and former Judge Bob Corlew announced his candidacy for the open 6th Congressional Seat in Tennessee via a statement and announcement video.

In 2017, Corlew served as Lions Club International President after retiring from thirty years of service as a judge, most recently serving Cannon and Rutherford Counties as Chancery Court Judge.

“I have dedicated my life to public service, not political service, serving my community and my country.  I am a veteran, a teacher, a servant leader, but most importantly, I am a grandpa of eight wonderful grandchildren,” stated Bob Corlew. “I am a Christian Conservative who believes Tennessee’s values are worth fighting for. President Trump needs folks who will work with him, not against him, and I will work with President Trump to make our community and our country great again.”

Corlew for Congress on the Web

Website:  www.BobCorlew.com
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/BobCorlewTN
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/BobCorlewTN

Biography of Bob Corlew
From a very young age, Bob Corlew has been dedicated to serving his community and his country. His dedication to public service started in the 2nd grade as Bob organized “The 77 Club,” a group of his fellow classmates that focused on serving their community and their school. In high school, Bob earned the rank of Eagle Scout and served in the U.S. Senate Page program in Washington, D.C. While at Davidson College, Bob was senior class president, vice president of the student body, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant after completion of the ROTC program. Bob then graduated from St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio, Texas where he was the Executive Editor of the Law Review.

After graduating from law school, Bob served in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, ultimately earning the rank of First Lieutenant. Bob has also served as Captain of the Tennessee National Guard and as a Major in the United States Army Reserve.

Bob Corlew

In 1984, Bob was elected General Sessions Judge at the age of thirty-one, making him one of the youngest judges in Tennessee at the time. In 1990, Bob was elected Chancery Court Judge overseeing civil cases in Cannon and Rutherford Counties. He served in this role until his retirement from the bench in 2014.

The grandson of a minister, Bob grew up in the Presbyterian Church and has served as Chair of Board of Deacons at his church. His core values instilled at home and church are essential to his strong character today.

Bob’s commitment to serving his neighbors and those in need runs deep. He has served community organizations in a variety of leadership positions, most notably with Lions Club International.

Lions Club International is the world’s largest service organization that is organized to “empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding.” Bob served in a number leadership roles that culminated to being elected as Lions Club International President in 2016.

In the one year Bob served as Lions Club International President, Lions Club International provided aid to over 70 million people worldwide and the organization’s membership grew by over 40,000, the biggest growth year for the organization in decades. Bob has traveled to over 100 countries on behalf of Lions Club International, many times meeting with heads of state and community leaders to further the goals of the Lions Club and facilitate service goals in those countries.

Bob has also served in leadership roles including State President of the Tennessee State Jaycees, the Boys Scouts of Tennessee, the Red Cross, and the Reserve Officers Association of Tennessee.

Bob has also contributed to his community as a small business owner, attorney and real estate developer. Bob also was a Professor of Law at Nashville School of Law for 15 years and an Adjunct Professor in the Aerospace department at Middle Tennessee State University.

He and his wife Dianne live in Mount Juliet in Wilson County and have a farm in Milton that is less than 11,000 feet from the 6th District.  Dianne, a graduate of Mount Juliet High School, has served as pediatric physician’s assistant throughout Middle Tennessee, including Lebanon and Mount Juliet. They have five children and eight grandchildren.”

Chad Williams announces candidacy with Campaign Kickoff Event

Chad Williams will be officially announcing his candidacy for State Representative this Saturday, January 20th at the Smith County Ag Center. The campaign kickoff event will begin at 1:00 with food and refreshments. Guest speakers will include Smith County Mayor, Michael Nesbit and Mark Medley.

“I have been campaigning since this past August, but I am excited about officially announcing my candidacy in front of my family, friends, and supporters,” says Williams. “Everyone knows how motivated I am to do this. It was evident when I started out strong. People have really began opening their eyes as they see the support I am getting from around the District.”

Williams is a life-long Tennessean and proud business owner in Lebanon. Rooted in Smith County and being prideful about his home is his strong motivation in this campaign. Williams is seeking the Republican Party nomination for State Representative. The 40th District includes Smith & Trousdale and a part of Sumner & DeKalb counties.

Williams’ campaign kickoff event will be a relaxed setting. He encourages everyone to bring their family and friends.

Visit ChadWilliamsTN.com to learn more about Chad and his campaign platform.

Mayor Nesbitt bids to not seek re-election

Smith County Mayor, Michael Nesbitt, officially announced that he will not be seeking re-election for the August 2, 2018 election. Nesbitt has served as the Mayor of Smith County for four terms (16 years). Nesbitt released the following statement about his decision:

“I would like to thank all the people of Smith County for allowing me to serve you as Smith County Mayor for the last sixteen years. Sixteen years, is unbelievable. When I ran for office in 2002, I never dreamed that I would serve my community for sixteen years. I was raised in the best place in the world, by the best family. I married the most incredible woman and we have the most wonderful children and grandson. I have the most awesome friends a man could ask for. I say this because each member of my family and so many of my friends played a huge part in my success. They sacrificed much, so that I might succeed and for that, I am so very grateful, thank you is not enough.

I have worked hard and done my best to carefully spend the tax dollars of the people of our county in a way that will build a stable platform for growth for years to come. In business you can’t spend more than you profit and be successful. I have been mindful of every choice so that every tax dollar can be maximized and have been fortunate enough to see Smith County progressively develop into a successful government.

There is no way I could have done this alone. I have had the opportunity to work with many people on projects, committees and boards, to include four different Smith County Commission Boards, and have learned from each one.

I challenge my successor to maintain and carry on the progress we have made over the years. I challenge you to take time to learn where seeds have been planted for opportunity and be smart enough to foster their growth. I challenge you to stand up for the people of our county and lead them with integrity and honor and to make every dollar go as far as possible for their benefit.

I’ve spent every day getting up and going to work, never considering what all I’ve accomplished in the days before, rather thinking of what I have ahead to accomplish. As I prepared to make the announcement of my decision not to seek re-election, I compiled this list and I am speechless. I am blessed to have had this opportunity, thank you Smith County for believing in me and standing behind me, giving me the opportunity to serve you for the last sixteen years.

16 years of accomplishments:

  • Spending is under control because each department is responsible.
  • Increased Funding by Increased Revenue so each department can operate without being a heavy burden on the Citizens of Smith County.
  • Each Department has great respect for each other.
  • Purchased 9 New Fire Trucks
  • Purchase 7 New Patrol Cars every year or every other year
  • Finished the 2002 School Building Project
  • Constructed a New Career Center, Senior Center, Health Department, Head Start, and Fitness Center
  • Constructed a New Agriculture Center
  • Started the Smith County Fair after 20 Years of not having a Fair
  • Constructed a New Jail and Courts Facility
  • Smith County has obtained Millions of Dollars of Grants Funds to Assist us with Improvements
  • Paying off the 2002 School Debt Early (Approximately July 2019)(Original Payoff Date of April 2021), discontinuing the $50.00 Wheel Tax to put more money back into the pockets of Smith County Citizens, $900,000 per year.
  • Property Tax Rate has been held at a great rate of $2.14 per $100 of Assessed Value
  • Bought the Gordonsville Ambulance Station and Constructed two new Ambulance Stations (Carthage and Four-Way Inn Community)
  • Once the Smith County Landfill depended on a $100,000 transfer from the tax base of the General Fund. That transfer stopped in the 2003-2004 Budget year and is used for other purposes in the General Fund. Now the Smith County Landfill is supported by its own revenues. Also, the condition of the Equipment at the Landfill and Convenience Sites has improved dramatically.
  • Landfills in the State of Tennessee are required to have a diversion rate of 25% (Items Recycled and not placed in the Landfill that would have been placed in the Landfill). Smith County has consistently met 80% to 90% diversion rate.
  • Smith County General and Smith County Highway Department have worked together to help the Smith County Highway Department to acquire better equipment to work with and more Funding to work on the Roads in Smith County.
  • Unemployment Rate reached the double digits in 2009 13.4% and now it is 3.4%. Lower than it has been since oldest records I can find 1970.
  • In the current environment there are more jobs than there are people to work.
  • I have been involved with many years of regular audits and Smith County is set for one of the best audits that Smith County has every had. Another result of a County ran like a successful business.
  • Smith County currently has a Bond Rating of AA- and it had not been rated prior to 2015.
  • Refunding of old debt (2002 School Building Project and Jail & Courts Facility) resulted in 1,800,000 in savings to the Tax Payers of Smith County.
  • Applied and received three different AFG Grants for a total of $ 838,940 to purchase SCBA’s and Turn Out Gear for the Volunteer Fire Departments and Heart Monitors for the Smith County Ambulance Service. This helps our Fireman and EMS Workers, helps save lives of the people of Smith County and has saved Smith County from purchasing these items out of the County Budget.
  • Volunteer Fireman Pay has increase from $15 per call to $30 per call. This is still not enough but better than where we were.
  • Greatest Fund Balances in all Funds since 1998 which makes Smith County financially stable and able to better handle the future.
  • Smith County was able to purchase flood damaged properties on Kinslow Lane from grants totaling $1,033,245.75 with TEMA/FEMA Funds which helped the property owners get in a better place and clean up a terrible eye sore.
  • Secured Funding to help purchase future Industrial Property TVA and Tennessee Central for a total of $451,000.00
  • Applying for additional funding of $1,000,000 for site development for this Industrial Property.
  • Have adopted Centralized Accounting 1957 Act, Smith County General and Smith County Highway Department have joined together to have a centralized accounting system. This saves time and money. All payroll, accounting, and human resources are performed from the Budget Office. This allows the Road Superintendent and the Mayor time to take care of other important tasks.

Future Challenges for Smith County

  • Preparing Industrial Property as Pad Ready Industrial Property. Market it as High Tech-High Paying Jobs.
  • Skill Training for Smith County Workers
  • School Building Project in Gordonsville
  • Better Insurance Benefits for Smith County Employees
  • Renewable Energy Projects at the Smith County Landfill
  • Safe Affordable Water to all Residents
  • Internet Service to all Residents

I would like to announce that I am not seeking re-election in the 2018 for the Smith County Mayor’s Position. The reason is simple, I believe that my job here is done. I have prayed about this which I think I and all other people should pray about decisions in their life. After months of prayer, I feel like I need to pursue other challenges and opportunities. My Family has always believed and taught that you leave things better than you found them. I believe with the help of great people to work with, We have been able to accomplish this. My term ends on August 31, 2018 and I will work as hard on August 31, 2018 as I did the first day of my First Term September 3, 2002. God Bless You all and Thanks again for allowing me to serve as your Smith County Mayor for 16 years.”


Mark Jones Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Smith County

Press Release:

Mark Jones

Monday, January 8, 2018 – Mark Jones of Smith County, Owner & President of Fort Storage Facilities and Investment properties, Smith County Commissioner of District 1, Tennessee State Trooper, is declaring his candidacy for Mayor of Smith County today.  Mr. Jones turned in his petitions for Mayor at the Smith County Election Office on Monday.

 I am honored and excited to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Smith County.  During my career in various branches and levels of government, I have been exposed to many different complexities of issues and solutions.  I have gained experience in my 20+ years in government work.  My experience working with the government and being a private business owner has given me a unique understanding of partnership with all levels of government, along with the private sector.  I have been blessed to have experience with every level of government in extremely high-stress situations — being able to make wise decisions that not only pertain to properties and monetary concerns, but also the lives of co-workers and the public.

If elected to this office, my position will be a very progressive role to bring new growth to our county, pursuing the very best for our citizens in every aspect without compromising any value of our great county.  I also am a firm believer in supporting our current and established businesses in every way possible.  These business owners are our families, friends and neighbors, and I am committed to supporting them in every way feasible.

During my career, one thing has proven itself over and over again: one of the keys to having a more powerful, established and stable economy is a strong infrastructure of our industrial, commercial and recreational locations.  Each of these locations are unique and should be handled in different ways.  We want our communities and recreational areas to stay safe and have any and all luxuries possible without compromising our values.  Our commercial and industrial areas need the resources supplied to be able to function effectively and efficiently.  With a strong infrastructure established, we can be more competitive and offer a more appealing environment for new growth and provide better services for our existing businesses and manufacturers.

I am also a dedicated Christian father of four wonderful children: Natalie, Alexis, Emry and Knox.  Just like all of you, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children.  I want the very best for them, and I want the opportunity for not only the work force of today to have great jobs but also tomorrow’s work force.

I look forward to running a positive campaign.  I am a citizen, not a politician, and a public servant, not a lord.  To make America great again, we must start at home.

Paid for by Mark Jones for Mayor

Carfi carries vote in Smith County; Pody wins the race by 308 votes

The Special 17th Senatorial District General Election was held on Tuesday, December 19, with two candidates, Mark Pody (R) and Mary Alice Carfi (D).

The election is the result of a vacancy created in the district when State Senator Mae Beavers resigned to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. The District includes DeKalb, Smith, Macon, Cannon, Clay and Wilson counties.

The following is the election results from Smith County:

Mark Pody (R) – 716 votes – 49.31%

Mary Alice Carfi (D) – 733 votes – 50.48%

Write-In – 3 votes – 0.21%

The following is the election results from the entire 17th Senatorial District:

Mark Pody (R) – 5990 votes – 51.32%

Mary Alice Carfi – 5682 votes – 48.68%

Click here to view a county by county breakdown of the election results. 

Op-Ed: Why I’m Endorsing Mark Pody for State Senate, by Gordon Borck

Mark Pody

Mark Pody consistently demonstrates his faith in Christ in his personal life and he holds to conservative values that keep our state government on a financially sound footing.  During the time Mr. Pody has been a state representative for a neighboring district he has shown concern for the business of Smith County by working to bring good jobs into our area.  He is currently working with our own state representative to accelerate the opening of St. Rt. 25, and for some time now Mr. Pody has been working diligently with our local judges and law enforcement agencies to try to get a handle on the opioid problem that has destroyed the lives of so many of our friends and loved ones here in Smith County.  Mark Pody truly cares about the people of Smith County.

Gordon Borck

Mr. Pody’s opponent seems to be a kind person, and the fact that she is a divorce attorney in Mt. Juliet shows she has a good degree of education; but in my humble opinion her liberal Democrat views do not reflect the values of the citizens of Smith County.

I urge you to join with me in voting for Mark Pody to be our next state senator in this special election on December 19th (early voting runs from November 29th to December 14th).

Thank you,

Gordon Borck

Paid for by Gordon Borck, private citizen of Smith County.

Disclaimer: Smith County Insider reserves the right to reject or refuse any advertisement or article submission.

Early voting begins November 29 for the Special 17th Senatorial District general election

Early voting begins Wednesday (November 29) for the Special 17th Senatorial District General Election, set for December 19.

The election is the result of a vacancy created in the district when State Senator Mae Beavers resigned to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. The District includes DeKalb, Smith, Macon, Cannon, Clay and Wilson counties.

Two candidates are own the ballot for this election. State Representative Mark Pody is looking to move to the upper chamber and is running at a Republican. Wilson County attorney, Mary Alice Carfi, is running as a democratic candidate. They will face each other in the General Election set for December 19th.

Dates to request absentee ballot: September 20 – December 12.

Voter Registration Deadline: November 20

Early Voting Dates: November 29 – December 14

Early voting will take place at the Smith County Election Office located at 122 Turner High Circle, Suite 105, Carthage, TN 37030.

See sample ballot below: 



Williams understands the value of education; Rep. Weaver fails to make education a priority

Press Release – Monday, November 20, 2017

Chad Williams, Tennessee’s 40th District House of Representatives Republican Candidate

Candidate for the Republican Party nomination for Tennessee’s 40th District House of Representatives seat, Chad Williams, released the following statement:

“Our teachers and students are over worked and over stressed. The state has become too involved in directing our local institutions. Teachers are burdened with the pressure of having to meet state standards and it hinders them from being the professionals they have worked for years to become. The job that they were taught to do is lost in the daily shuffle of playing catch-up. Confusing and unclear standards and a strong emphasis on testing brings a great burden on both the teachers and students. “Let teachers teach” seems to be the war cry. Simple, yet a strong call from the people on the front lines wanting their needs addressed. 

Since I have begun touring and visiting schools across the district, I have had the great pleasure to speak to students of all ages. The opportunity has been placed before me to not only educate students of all ages on government, campaigns, and current events; but also, to inspire them to get involved in their government. I am hoping to bring a new generation of voters to the polls that will care about the advancement and safekeeping of our communities. 

During this campaign dozens of teachers have reached out to me in email, through phone calls, and in person both in public and while I have visited schools. They all wanted to express their desire to see a change in our education system. The message is clear: Teachers want better representation in Nashville that will bring change to this failing system.

The current State Representative incumbent, Terri Lynn Weaver, received a near failing grade based on her voting record for the advancement of public education via the TSS (Tennesseans for Student Success), a non-profit, statewide organization committed to improving student achievement in Tennessee. TSS publishes this scorecard to ensure parents, teachers, and advocates for high-quality public education have, at their fingertips, a detailed analysis of each legislative session, its impact on public education, and an easy-to-understand report on how each member of the Tennessee General Assembly voted on the policies that drive student achievement in the state.

I ask that you consider the future of education system, I ask that you consider giving your support to me and my campaign, and I ask for your vote in the Republican primary next August. Find out more about my campaign platform and message at ChadWilliamsTN.com. I can also be emailed at campaign@ChadWilliamsTN.com.”

Paid for by Chad Williams for Tennessee

Terri Lynn Weaver, received a near failing grade based on her voting
record for the advancement of public education. Link: http://bit.ly/2z64pb4


Blackwell Realty and Auction
Cumberland Valley Realty & Auction
Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
DTC Communications
Poindexter Realty & Auction
Ad Placeholder
Wilson Bank & Trust
Smith County Drug Center
Dale's Towing

Article Calendar

March 2018
« Feb