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November 2022
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Governor Lee’s bus tour makes stop in Gordonsville

Governor Bill Lee visited Smith County on Monday, November 7, as part of his “Tennessee Works” campaign bus tour.

Lee was joined on the tour by Lt. Governor Randy McNally and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton. Congressman John Rose, State Representative Michael Hale, Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason, and several other local elected officials were in attendance. Nearly 100 supporters and guests were present.

State Representative Michael Hale said, “It was huge for the 40th District to have the Governor and Speaker of the House to stop in for a visit on their bus tour, along with Congressman John Rose. Of all the places they could have chosen, they selected the 40th District as one of their stops. I think that speaks volume for our communities and that great things are ahead for our District. We were honored to have them in Gordonsville.”

Mayor Jeff Mason commented that, “We are extremely proud and honored to have the Governor’s bus tour make a stop in Smith County. Smith County is blessed to have a set of state and federal representatives that align with our Smith County values and represent them in their current offices. It truly does matter in these current times that we live that we continue to elect good Godly, conservative, small government leaders.”

This was the second time Governor Lee visited Smith County in 2022.

November 8, 2022 Smith County Election Results

Voters had the opportunity to cast ballots in a variety of races during the November 8, 2022 Election, including Governor, US House, TN Senator, TN House, Carthage Mayor, Carthage Alderman, Gordonsville Alderman and several more.

Polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and voters had the opportunity to vote early from October 19-November 3 or by absentee ballot.

Below is a PDF of the election results for the November 8, 2022 Smith County Primary.

Use the up and down arrows at the top and bottom of the PDF to scroll between pages.

8 of 8 Precincts have reported, including early and absentee votes

8-of-8-ElectionSummary

November 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

he Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 6:00 pm.

Several items were discussed. Watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Smith County Animal Clinic, Teresa’s Gifts and Casey Elrod for Carthage City Council for sponsoring Smith County Insider’s live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Carthage City Hall, located at 314 Spring Street in Carthage, Tennessee – 37030.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Everything Voters Need to Know for the Nov. 8 Election

Secretary of State’s Tre Hargett wants Tennessee voters to have the information they need before heading to the polls for the Nov. 8 State and Federal General election.

Tennesseans can access voter-specific Election Day information, including polling times, locations, sample ballots, election results and more, on GoVoteTN.gov or the Secretary of State’s free GoVoteTN app. The GoVoteTN app is free in the App Store or Google Play. On Election Day, polls in all 95 counties open at various times. A list of when polling locations open is available on GoVoteTN.gov. All polls close at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST.

Casting your ballot in the midmorning or midafternoon may shorten your time. Early morning, noon and after 5 p.m. are peak times as people typically vote before work, after work or on their lunch breaks. If there is a line to vote, frail, physically disabled or visibly pregnant voters can request to move through the process faster.

To cast a ballot, voters need to bring valid photo identification. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee state government or the federal government is acceptable even if it’s expired. A student ID or out-of-state driver’s license is not acceptable. For more information about what types of IDs are permitted, visit GoVoteTN.gov or call 1-877-850-4959.

State law requires polling locations and areas within a 100-foot boundary of the entrance to remain campaign-free zones. The display or distribution of campaign materials and the solicitation of votes for or against any person, party or question on the ballot within this area are prohibited. Voters wearing campaign-related clothing or paraphernalia will not be allowed within the 100-foot boundary.

Tennessee voters are encouraged to report possible voter fraud or misinformation to the Secretary of State’s Division of Elections. Tennesseans can text ‘TN’ to 45995 to use the new Text to Report Voter Fraud system or call the Official Election Day Hotline toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

The Secretary of State’s office will post minute-by-minute unofficial results on their Twitter accounts @tngovelection@tnushouse@tnsenategen@tnhousegen and @tnconstamend. The Secretary of State’s office will also post unofficial election results on their website, elections.tn.gov.

A comprehensive report of early and absentee by-mail voter turnout by county with comparisons to 2018 and 2014 from the 14-day early voting period, which ran from Wednesday, Oct. 19, to Thursday, Nov. 3, is available on GoVoteTN.gov.

For the latest information about Tennessee elections, follow the Secretary of State’s social media Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about the November 8 election, visit GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

Tennessee Works Bus Tour stops in Gordonsville, TN

The Tennessee Works Bus Tour will stop in Gordonsville TN on Monday, November 7th at 1:30 p.m. Governor Bill Lee, Lieutenant Governor Rand McNally, State Representative and house speaker, Cameron Sexton and Candidate for State Representative Michael Hale will be participating.

The Bus Tour will stop at the Timberloft at 470 Gordonsville Highway, Gordonsville. This is an opportunity to meet candidates and officials prior to Tuesday, November 8th Election Day.

October 2022 Meeting of Smith County Commission

The Smith County Commission held its March meeting on the evening of Monday, October 10th 2022. 

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Powell & Meadows Insurance Agency for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

Commission meetings are held in the General Sessions Courtroom of the Smith County Jail and Courts Facility, located at 322 Justice Drive in Carthage.

All meetings are open to the public and are streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Smith County Insider candidate forum led by SCHS Journalism held on October 17, 2022

Smith County Insider is partnered with the Smith County High School Journalism Class and the Smith County Chamber of Commerce to host a candidate forum on Monday, October 17, 2022 at 6:00pm.

The event will took place at the Smith County High School auditorium and will be moderated and led by JR Smith and SCHS journalism student, Ephraim Rodenbach.

All candidates that will appear on the November 8, 2022 ballot were invited to attend and participate in person. All candidates received to letters in the mail with the invitation.

Below is a list of the candidates that attended:

  • John Rose – US House or Representatives
  • Michael Hale – State Representative
  • Steve Babcock – Carthage Mayor
  • Cole Ebel – Carthage Mayor
  • Sam Gray – Carthage Alderman
  • Jessica Klaus – Carthage Alderman

Smith County Insider partners with SCHS Journalism Class to host candidate forum on October 17

Smith County Insider is partnering with the Smith County High School Journalism Class and the Smith County Chamber of Commerce to host a candidate forum on Monday, October 17, 2022 at 6:00pm. 

The event will take place at the Smith County High School auditorium and will be moderated and led by JR Smith and students from his journalism class.  

All candidates that will appear on the November 8, 2022 ballot are invited to attend and participate, including candidates for Governor, US House, TN Senate, TN House, Carthage Mayor, Carthage Alderman, and Gordonsville Alderman. Each candidate will have the opportunity to speak for 3-5 minutes (time limit will depend on how many candidates participate). Candidates for the Mayor of Carthage will be asked two questions that will be randomly drawn. The questions will be drafted by students in the SCHS Journalism class. A list of the questions will be sent to the candidates ahead of time. 

There is NO COST for candidates to come speak, but we would suggest that all attendees contribute a $10 or more donation to the SCHS Journalism class. 

The forum will be streamed LIVE on Smith County Insider’s Facebook page and viewers will be able to watch for free.

All candidates were invited via mailed letter on August 29 and again on September 22.

Here is a list of the confirmed candidates at of October 11.

  • US House of Representatives – John Rose
  • TN House of Representatives – Michael Hale and Tom Cook
  • Carthage Mayor – Steve Babcock and Cole Ebel
  • Carthage Alderman – Jessica Klaus

If you are a candidate and would like to participate, please RSVP no later than October 15 by sending an email to news@smithcountyinsider.com.

October 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 6:00 pm.

Several items were discussed. Watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Smith County Animal Clinic, Teresa’s Gifts and Casey Elrod for Carthage City Council for sponsoring Smith County Insider’s live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Carthage City Hall, located at 314 Spring Street in Carthage, Tennessee – 37030.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Steve Babcock announces candidacy for Mayor of Carthage

Submitted Press Release:

Why Do I Want To Be Mayor of The Town of Carthage? Because common sense means good government.

Approximately a year and half ago I was sitting in a Carthage city council meeting. Attendees were shouting, talking over each other, and there was no order. It was just another chaotic embarrassment to my city that had become all to common. At that point I told myself, “I can fix this.”

I want to make the Carthage city council meetings factual rather than entertainment, to bring back integrity, and restore the voice of the people. Our town and the people of this community deserve better.

I guess one could say it is in my nature to serve the citizens of my town. I have been a civil servant my entire life. I have always wanted to give back to my community and this fundamental drive has defined myself.

I believe there is more to Carthage than just Downtown Main Street and that I can better serve the needs of all citizens. As mayor I want to build positive relationships with each and every citizen. The role of the mayor should be to lead by example, and to offer all the resources possible to the citizens to better this city.

Unfortunately I feel there is currently a lack of accomplishment of execution at the executive level. When the city council makes a decision, the mayor should follow through with their decisions. City council decisions must be implemented in a timely manner.

Taxpayer money should never be wasted. Currently our city attorney bills are much higher than normal. The rebidding of projects often result in higher cost. Local government should be good steward’s of the taxpayers money.

I see problems with the way our city government is being run. I see a lack of cooperation with the other municipalities of this county. The executive branch of this city needs change.

These are the reasons I want to be mayor of The Town of Carthage.

Cole Ebel announces candidacy for Mayor of Carthage

Cole Ebel

Submitted Press Release:

My name is Cole Ebel and I am announcing my candidacy for Carthage Mayor. My objective is to continue to bring transparency into our city government.

I have served on the city council for the past four years. During that time I have faithfully upheld my promises to bring transparency to our city. Transparency is often controversial, as we’ve seen politician after politician use their position to promote their individual welfare.

I have upheld my positions on encouraging small business growth, as I feel the biggest hurdle to small businesses is government interference. 

I have promoted community involvement, being the only mayoral candidate to support all non-profit event submissions, including River City Ball & The American Legion. I believe the local government has no right to interfere in these events, as our community is superior at supporting itself and helping others.

I am the only mayoral candidate that supported “No Taxation without Representation”, voting for property owners in Carthage to have the ability to vote in city elections, as many of them collect the vast tax revenue for our city without having a vote. 

I am the only mayoral candidate to vote to decrease property taxes consecutively. Every year, our city revenue collects over a million dollars in surplus revenue. This simply means we are over taxed. I will work to find fiscally sound solutions to problems instead of throwing money at the problem. 

I am a business owner of two successful businesses, both headquartered in our city. I am a combat veteran, a liberty activist and an advocate of small government. I’m a proud father of three wonderful children and husband to a wonderful wife. 

Let’s continue transparency and promote the idea of less government, more freedom. I humbly ask for your vote on November 8th.

Oct. 11 is the Registration Deadline to Vote for the Nov. 8 Election

ennesseans who want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 8 State and Federal General Election only have one week until the voter registration deadline on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

“The first step to making your voice heard on Election Day is registering to vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “With our convenient online voter registration system, it’s never been easier for Tennesseans to register to vote or update their registration.”

Registering to vote, updating or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system, GoVoteTN.gov.

Using a computer, phone or tablet, any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register in minutes at GoVoteTN.gov. Each submission is checked against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s database.

Voters can also download a paper voter registration application at GoVoteTN.gov. Completed paper voter registration applications must be mailed to your local county election commission office or submitted in person. Mailed voter registrations must be postmarked by Oct. 11.

Election Day registration is not available in Tennessee.

Early voting for the Nov. 8 State and Federal General Election starts Wednesday, Oct. 19, and runs Monday to Saturday until Thursday, Nov. 3. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The Secretary of State and county election commissions are Tennessee’s trusted sources for accurate election information. For the latest information about the Nov. 8 election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about registering to vote in Tennessee, go to GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

Special Called Meeting of Smith County Commission September 12th 2022

The Smith County Commission held its March meeting on the evening of Monday, September 12th 2022.

You can watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Powell & Meadows Insurance Agency for sponsoring the live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

Commission meetings are held in the General Sessions Courtroom of the Smith County Jail and Courts Facility, located at 322 Justice Drive in Carthage.

All meetings are open to the public and are streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.

Secretary Hargett Encourages Tennesseans to Register to Vote on the 10th Annual National Voter Registration Day

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging Tennesseans to register to vote or make sure their address on file is up to date.

“Registering to vote is the very first step to making your voice heard on Election Day,” said Secretary Hargett. “If you’re not registered, National Voter Registration Day is the perfect time to get ready to cast your ballot. Registering to vote is important because our society is better off when every eligible voter participates in the process.”

It has never been easier to register to vote, cast a ballot or get accurate election information in Tennessee. Registering to vote, updating or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system, GoVoteTN.gov

Using a computer, phone or tablet, any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register in minutes at GoVoteTN.gov. Each submission is checked against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s database. A paper voter registration application is also available to download at GoVoteTN.gov.

“Making it easier than ever before for Tennesseans to register to vote and cast a ballot while protecting the integrity of our elections is our highest priority,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “We work with legislators and county election administers so that every Tennessean can have confidence in our elections and know that it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in the Volunteer State.”

Tennessee was recently ranked number one in the country for election integrity by The Heritage Foundation. This ranking results from Tennessee’s continual work to incorporate the best practices to protect the integrity of the ballot box.

The Secretary of State’s office and local county election commissions are Tennessee’s trusted sources for accurate election information. For the latest information about upcoming elections and the Secretary of State’s voter registration efforts, follow their social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate

Tennesseans are encouraged to use the Secretary of State’s #GoVoteTN hashtag on social media posts promoting voter registration on National Voter Registration Day and throughout the year. 

National Voter Registration Day and National Voter Registration Month are nonpartisan, nationwide efforts to encourage all eligible voters to register and participate in the electoral process.

For more information about registering to vote in Tennessee, go to GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

September 2022 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 6, 2022, at 6:00 pm.

Several items were discussed. Watch the full meeting below.

Thanks to Smith County Animal Clinic for sponsoring Smith County Insider’s live broadcast of this meeting.

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Carthage City Hall, located at 314 Spring Street in Carthage, Tennessee – 37030.

All meetings are open to the public and streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/smithcountyinsider/.