DT McCall & Sons
Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition

Article Calendar

September 2022
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

List of candidates attending SCI candidate forum on April 12; Studio audience tickets now on sale

Studio audience tickets are now on sale for the Smith County Insider Candidate Forum that is set to take place on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. This event is co-hosted by Smith County Insider and the Smith County Chamber of Commerce.

The Candidate Forum will be live streamed on Smith County Insider’s Facebook page beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening April 12 and will be FREE to watch. The forum will not be open to the general public to attend in person, but there will be limited studio audience seating available. Tickets for the studio audience seating are available for purchase, proceeds will benefit the Smith County Chamber of Commerce with tourism projects in Smith County. Tickets are now available for purchase at this link. 

Below is a list of the candidates that have signed up to come and speak as of April 11, 2022:

Criminal Court Judge – Brody Kane

District Attorney – Jason Lawson

County Mayor – Arthur (Art) Shady and Jeff Mason

County Commission (District 1) – Helen Vose

County Commission (District 4) – Matthew J. Inyart

County Commission (District 5) – Danny Irizarry, Eddie Stout, and Blake Richmond

County Commission (District 6) – Justin Mauldin

County Commission (District 7) – Connor David McDonald

Trustee – Jackie Gentry, Craig Williams and Julie Wright

General Sessions Judge – Branden Bellar

Sheriff – Scott Moore and Steve Hopper

County Clerk – Clifa Norris

Road Superintendent – Mickey Barrett

School Board (District 3) – Stephanie Winfree

Each candidate will have the 3-5 minutes to speak (depending on the number of participants.)

If you or your business is interested in being a sponsor of the forum, please reach out to us at news@smithcountyinsider.com.

Early Voting for May 3rd Primary Election begins April 13th

Early voting for the May 3rd primary election begins on April 13th and runs through April 28th. Voters will cast their votes for 15th District Circuit Court Judges, Chancellor 15th Judicial District, Criminal Court Judge 15th District, 15th District Attorney General, 15th District Public Defender, County Commissioner District 1-8, County Trustee, County Sheriff, General Sessions Judge, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Road Superintendent, Register of Deeds and School Board Members for Districts 3, 4, 6, & 8.

Early voting runs Mondays through Saturdays and ends April 26th Election Day is Tuesday, May 3rd. The voter registration deadline ahead of this election was April 4th

Early voting will be available at two locations: The Smith County Election Office and the Gordonsville Municipal Building.

Early voting at the Smith County Election office will be open from April 13th – 28th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. Late-night early voting will be available on April 19th and 26th from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Voters may vote early at the Gordonsville Municipal Building on Tuesday, April 19th 8am to 7pm, Thursday, April 21st 8am to 4pm, Friday, April 22nd 8am to 4pm, Saturday, April 23rd, 9am to 12pm, Tuesday, April 26th 8am to 7pm, Thursday, April 28th 8 am to 4pm.

Both early voting sites will be open to all Smith County voters, regardless of where in the county they live. On Election Day, the Gordonsville location will only be available for those voters who live in the Gordonsville district. The Smith County
Election Office is not a voting location on Election Day.

If you wait until Election Day (May 3) to vote, you must go to the polling location that is located in the precinct where you
live.

You can view a sample ballot at https://www.smithcountyelection.com/upload_sampleballot/sampleballot.pdf

Congressman John Rose Local Office Hours on April 7th

U.S. Representative John Rose’s (TN-6) district staff will hold a series of local office hours for constituents to connect directly with caseworkers and receive assistance with federal agencies throughout the month of April.

During the local office hours, district staff will be available to answer questions and assist constituents with federal casework, such as social security and veterans’ benefits, steps for obtaining a passport, and more. Local office hours occur monthly. If you have questions, please contact one of Representative Rose’s offices so a staff member may help you.

“We are ready to assist constituents with federal casework and welcome anyone with questions to sit down with staff,” said Representative Rose. “My goal is to make the expertise of my staff and the resources of this office easily accessible to every person I represent.”

Details for local office hours can be found below and on Representative Rose’s website.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 2022

TIME: 2:00pm-3:00pm


LOCATION: Smith County Administrative Building, 122 Turner High Circle, Carthage, TN 37030

WHO: Representative Rose will be represented by District Director Rebecca Foster during this visit.

Art Shady Announces His Candidacy for Smith County Mayor

It is with great pleasure that I announce my candidacy for Smith County Mayor. As a proud member of this county I look forward to serving the citizens of our county as your mayor. I have 35 years of accounting and tax preparation experience. While in college I built a practice in Chattanooga of over 200 individual and business clients. I’ve been a comptroller and HR director for a multi-dollar construction company in Knoxville and an Assistant Branch Manager for a bank. I taught computer classes at Roane State Community College and have spent most of my life in some form of management. I feel well qualified for this office as I am the only candidate with a strong financial management background.

I live in the Riddleton community with my wife Sandra, we have seven children and three grandchildren so far. Formerly from the Nashville and Baxter areas we have lived in Smith County for the last five years and intend it to be our home. I would appreciate your vote for Mayor of Smith County and I promise to do the best job I can for the privilege. As Mayor I will maintain an open-door policy and strive to be as transparent as possible. It will be my primary goal to restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to the office of Mayor. You may contact me by email at art@artshady.com, or text or call my cell phone at 615-486-9308.

In my opinion the current administration has not handled the county funds responsibly. This has led to shortages that have put a burden on the citizens of this county. The sitting mayor miscalculated anticipated revenue and plunged the county into a million-dollar deficit. The mayor made wild projections based on unrealistic anticipation of revenue. You can read more about this on the “Why Me” menu item of my website at www.artshady.com, be sure to click on the “New Rules” menu item at the top also in the main menu.

There will be a Night of the Candidates forum at the Riverpoint Ranch, 46 Fox Run Lane, in Carthage on Tuesday, April 5 2022 at 7:00 PM. There will also be a candidate forum April 12 where you will have the opportunity to hear from each candidate that participates. The primary election will be May 3rd and early voting begins April 13th, one day after the forum. Check our website for updates from time to time. The forum will be broadcast so check with the Smith County Insider to find out when, it will probably livestream in real time.

God bless you and yours — Art Shady

Sheriff Steve Hopper Announces His Candidacy for Re-election

I, Sheriff Steve Hopper would like to announce my candidacy for re-election. I am a 1978 graduate of Smith County High School. My wife Donna (Nesbitt) and I live in the Riddleton Community. My parents are Mary Lou and Dale Roberts and the late Charles Hopper. Donna’s parents are Jan and Roger Fisher and the late Philip Nesbitt. Together we have four children Michael, Stephanie and her husband Craig West, Charlie, Joel and Jessica Lafferty and five grandchildren.

My commitment to serving the citizens of Smith County began in the early 1980’s when I became a member of the Smith County Rescue Squad and served as treasurer for several years. I am also a member of the Central District Volunteer Fire Department and served as the Fire Chief until 2020. I also worked at the Smith County Ambulance Service as a paramedic.

I began my law enforcement career in 1995 with Carthage Police Department as a patrol officer. I graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1996. During my career with Carthage P.D. I was promoted to Sergeant and in 2003 promoted to Chief of Police. While employed with Carthage P.D. I received numerous specialized certifications and served as Chief of Police until elected Sheriff in 2010.

I currently serve on the Finance committee for the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the 15th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. I am also a member of the Smith County Adult Leadership Class of 2014 and a retired member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.

The years serving as your Sheriff has been an honor and a privilege. Along with an amazing staff, I have strived to promote honesty, integrity, and professionalism throughout all operations of this very important office while upholding the laws of the State of Tennessee and the Constitution of the United States. My staff and I work hard to stay within the budgets that the County commissioners set for the Sheriff’s Office. Looking back to the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget year up through fiscal year 2019-2020 more than one million dollars has been returned to the County general fund that we did not spend.

There are many duties that must be taken care on a daily basis while striving to make Smith County a better and safer place to live, work, and raise our families. If re-elected, I will continue to conduct the Office of Sheriff in a manner that serves all Smith County residents fairly and equally.

I will do my best to see as many of you as possible and if I happen to not see you personally, please let me take this opportunity to humbly ask for your vote and support in the May 3, 2022, Republican primary.

Lawson Announces Candidacy For Judicial District 15 District Attorney

I am Jason Lawson, and I humbly ask for your vote to continue serving as your District Attorney General for the 15th Judicial District. I was appointed to this position last year, first by the judges of our district as interim DA, and then by Governor Lee to fill the remaining term of retiring General Tommy Thompson.

Serving as your DA is one of the great honors of my life. I believe that our criminal justice system is only as strong as our prosecutors. Our job is to assess each situation, each crime, each defendant. We have to know how to be fair, when to extend a second chance, and when to remove a person from our community. That is why we become prosecutors—we want to come to a situation, invest ourselves, make things better and see justice done. Each case is an opportunity to get it right, to stand up for victims and show the public that we are the prosecutors they want to see. Our service is vitally important.

Since becoming DA I have sought and obtained more resources so we can give more individual attention to each case. I added our first Spanish speaking employee to better communicate with victims and witnesses. I added a third DA’s office in Carthage to make services more accessible to people in all five counties.

To share about myself, I was raised in Watertown, the son of Javin and Cindy (Fuston) Lawson. Our family business was logging, teaching me valuable experiences that built my work ethic. I attended MTSU on academic scholarship where I was elected student body president. I graduated with honors from UT law school where I won Outstanding Courtroom Argument my final year and Outstanding Written Argument each of my last two years. After graduation, I moved to Mt. Juliet and married my wonderful wife Christy, a pre-school teacher. We are blessed with two sons, Avery and Everett. Our faith is a central part of our life. We are active in our church, where Christy teaches the children’s program and I teach the teen program.

Professionally, I joined the DA’s office right out of law school in 2002. I worked alongside General Thompson for the last twenty years and learned first-hand his approach to criminal justice. Over my career, I have earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor who has tried many jury trials involving nearly every crime, even including the conviction of a serial killer. In 2020 alone, I won murder trials in Macon, Smith, Wilson, and Jackson Counties. I have even been recognized as one of Tennessee’s top prosecutors by the state-wide prosecutor’s conference. Although my experience is vast, it is my passion for this service that makes me the right person for this office. I will never forget that I work for you, and I will always be available to you. I humbly ask for your vote on May 3 and your continued support and prayers as I serve as your District Attorney.

Shelley T. Gardner announces candidacy for Public Defender for the 15th Judicial District

Mrs. Shelley T. Gardner is announcing her candidacy in seeking re-election as Public Defender for the 15th Judicial District. Mrs. Gardner is a Wilson County, Tennessee, native. She graduated from Cumberland University in 1997 with her BBA and then from the Nashville School of Law in 2001 with her Doctorate of Jurisprudence. She has been with the 15th Judicial District Public Defender’s office since 2002, starting as an Assistant Public Defender and was later appointed by Governor Haslam in 2018 as the District Public Defender. In her 20 years at the Public Defender’s Office, she has handled well over 15,000 criminal cases in all five counties and courts in the 15th District. The five counties include: Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson. She has also been a member of the 15th Judicial Drug Court team since 2002. “The Drug Court program is an amazing program. To be able to work with such a great team while helping individuals get back on their feet and lead the lives they should be living, is very rewarding.” In 2020, Mrs. Gardner ran in the Republican Primary and was elected as District Public Defender. Mrs. Gardner is again running in the 2022 Republican Primary and August general election seeking re-election as District Public Defender.
Mrs. Gardner is very active and involved with her office and throughout her community. She currently serves as Vice President and President Elect for the District Public Defender’s Conference for the state of Tennessee. She sits on the Board for the Wilson County Fair, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and is President Elect 2023 for the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary. She was a 2017 graduate of Leadership Wilson and is also a Past President of Wilson ONE and of CASA. Being involved in her community has awarded Mrs. Gardner several special recognitions. In 2015, she was named Woman of Wilson. She received the Judge J.O. Bond Memorial Achievement Award in 2018, the CASA Community Champion Award in 2019, the Woman of Excellence Award in 2019 and the Cedar Tree Award in 2021 for the newly built Public Defender’s Office in Wilson County.
Shelley Gardner and her family are members of the Lebanon First United Methodist Church. Her husband, Joe, is the head football coach at Walter J. Baird Middle School. Their two teenage sons, 16 years old and 13 years old, both play football for Lebanon High School Blue Devils.
“I am your current Public Defender for the 15th Judicial District. With my experience and values, I know I can continue to run this office and keep my community happy. I would appreciate your vote to re-elect me as Public Defender.” Early Voting is April 13th through April 28th. TheCounty Primary is May 3rd. General Election is August 4th.

Danny Irizarry Announces Candidacy for District 5 County Commission

I’m very happy to announce my candidacy for the office of County Commissioner on the Smith County Commission for the Fifth District as a Republican. I live on a farm with my wife Kerri in Hickman. In my opinion, Smith County is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and is definitely where we plan on spending the rest of our lives. My hobbies include spending time with family on our farm and in the great Outdoors with boating, camping, fishing, and hunting. I’m a first time political candidate for public office. Over the years, I never thought I would ever be interested in running for any public office as I’m not the typical “politician” type. Many of my family, friends, and neighbors along with myself have very strong Christian conservative beliefs, morals, and values. At this time, as every strand of the soul of our nation is being tested, I feel called to run and I intend to represent these interests of the people to the best of my God given ability if elected by the people of District 5. Here is a brief background summary about myself.

I grew up in rural America working on dairy farms. When I was a young boy, I decided that I wanted to be a police officer when I grew up so I could help serve and protect the people. I aspired toward that goal for many years and wanted to start my career in law enforcement as soon as possible. I took college level Criminal Justice courses while I was still in high school to get a head start on my required college credits. After graduating high school, I was accepted to and enrolled in a small private college on a Presidential scholarship. I wanted to start taking civil service exams for police departments as soon as I was eligible and old enough to take them. Shortly after I turned 18 years old when I was a freshman in college, I took my first civil service exam and scored high enough to get called for hiring. After going through all the very extensive and lengthy processing, I made the critical and difficult decision to withdraw early from college with my Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and then accepted the offer to attend the police academy at only 20 years old. I graduated the police academy with honors and served for over 5 years as a state police officer outside of New York City. After 5 years of service as a state police officer, my wife and I were ready for a life change and decided to make a career change while moving closer to my parents.

My grandfather was a highly decorated Army combat veteran in World War II. Both of my parents were in the Air Force and is actually where they met. I wanted to carry on the family tradition of military service and decided to enlist in the Army Infantry when I was 25 right before I got out of law enforcement. I graduated from the Army Infantry Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning as Expert Marksman Qualified. I served in the Army Infantry for 6 years. I qualified for a secondary MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) of Military Police (MP) and received the Top Gun Award for the highest pistol qualification scores in my Army MP School. I also utilized the Army tuition assistance education program in order to finish my Bachelor of Science Degree in Community & Human Services with a concentration in criminology and public administration. I graduated from the Army Basic Leader Course (BLC) as a Corporal (CPL). I was Honorably discharged from the Army as a Non Commissioned Officer.

Over the years, I have also developed experience as an entrepreneur and freelance independent business owner in different areas that have involved marketing and audio-video production. These various business ventures have involved interacting and networking with many People in different capacities. I have also worked in the financial sector as an independent contractor for companies such as Northwestern Mutual and US Health Advisors to assist clients with their financial planning and insurance needs. I’m currently employed by Southwest Airlines and work in Customer Service.

My service in law enforcement and the military instilled a level of dedication, determination, discipline, drive, focus, organization, and respect that will serve as a solid foundation for me to carry out and complete the duty and responsibility of this office if elected by the People of District 5. Furthermore, my background in business, finance, and interacting with people in these many different capacities will allow me to be a fundamental asset for the local community while serving on the Smith County Commission. Therefore, I am hopeful to have the honor, opportunity, and privilege to represent and serve the People of Smith County. Here is the link where you can connect and follow me on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/people/Danny-Irizarry/100078313961592/

I want to thank the wonderful people of Smith County for all of your kindness and support to us while announcing and initiating my candidacy and campaign for this office. I’m asking for your continued prayers, your support, and your vote in the County Primary Election on May 3, 2022, and in the County General Election on August 4, 2022.

Mickey Barrett Announces Candidacy for Road Superintendent

I, Mickey Barrett, would like to formally announce my candidacy for the position of Smith County Road Superintendent. 

Smith County has been my home for most of my life. I have resided in Brush Creek for a little over 35 years. My wife, Alicia, is an educator and we are blessed with two children, Shawn (wife Ashley) and Kailee. 

I have dedicated the last 25 years to the Smith County Highway Department where I served as a foreman under the former Superintendent, Steve Coble. After his resignation and untimely passing, I decided to enter Adult High School and earned my GED so I could meet the qualifications for the Superintendent. I was named interim Superintendent in November 2021 and appointed Superintendent by the county commissioners in February 2022. 

SInce holding the position, my crew and I have  worked tirelessly on road improvements and maintenance in several areas throughout the county. Not only have we worked to maintain and complete typical road repairs, we have also dealt with tornados, winter storms and had some flooding issues. The Highway Department is operating with a total of 16 employees that are working hard for the citizens of Smith County. 

When elected, I will continue to use the manpower, equipment and budget to maintain and improve as many miles of county roads as possible. I have an open door policy so please do not hesitate to reach out to me regarding any questions or concerns about the Smith County Highway Department. I would greatly appreciate your support and vote.

Craig Williams Announces Candidacy for Smith County Trustee

Craig Williams

To the residents of Smith County, after much prayer and thoughtful consideration, I, Craig Williams, am announcing my candidacy for Smith County Trustee.

I am a lifelong resident of Smith County. I lived the first four years of my life in South Carthage. At age 5 we moved to Elmwood, where I continue to reside today. Smith County is a great place to live and raise a family. Our county still has great values and folks that treat others fairly and honestly. I am thankful for that and will do my part to see that continues for my kids and generations to come.

I have been married to Ashley (Ray) Williams for eighteen years. I could not have asked for a better friend, wife, and mother to our sons. We have two boys, Cooper who is twelve, and Cole who is ten. They love hunting, fishing, and playing sports. We spend a lot of time together doing these things and have been fortunate to create lifelong memories. They attend Forks River Elementary School. My wife also works at Forks River, and we consider it a blessing that she can work where our kids attend school. The perfect day for us is an early morning fishing trip, yard work the rest of the day, and then setting at the table together for supper. Simple, I know, but very rewarding.

My parents are Benny and LeeAnn Williams. I have been blessed with parents that took me to church, taught me about Jesus, and instilled in me the importance of family values and work ethic. My dad is the hardest working man I know and is someone I have always looked up to. It was always tough love, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the way he raised me. My mom, LeeAnn Williams, also instilled these values in me and taught me that the Golden Rule principle is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. She will have been the Smith County Trustee for twenty-four years upon her retirement this year. My mom can lay her head on her pillow at night and know that she has treated her fellow citizens of Smith County fairly and honestly and done everything she could to grow the position of Trustee to best suit the residents of this county.

Terry and Sherrie (Sircy) Ray are my wife’s parents. They have always been great to me and more importantly the best Grandparents I could have asked for to our kids. Terry is a life-lone self-made contractor that done whatever was needed to support his family. I have great respect for him as I have watched over the years the way he always put his kids first. Sherrie, my mother-in-law, is currently a homemaker. She watched our kids a lot as they grew up and would not take a dime to do it. I am grateful to be part of their family and could not have asked for any better. My brother-in-law is Michael Ray. He is currently employed by the Town of Gordonsville and has been involved in city government for several years. He is also serving as the Treasurer of my campaign.

I have, for several years now, wanted to run for a county office. I feel it is time for my generation to step up and preserve the great principles that have made our county the best in Tennessee and so, after praying about it, I am going to run for Trustee. I attended Forks River Elementary School and went to Smith County High School. After high school, I attended Aquinas College and then Tennessee Tech University. I worked a couple of part-time jobs while attending school and then jumped straight into the workforce. I have been with the same company for seventeen years. I was hired at an entry level position but started setting goals for myself to advance. After just a few years, I was fortunate enough to join in on the management side of the operation. I worked hard and continued to take company offered classes to improve my skill set. I have extensive knowledge in Excel, Word, Kronos, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and several other applications. I also helped implement a new ERP system into my department. I am always analyzing and entering data to look for ways to improve our business and implement cost saving plans when applicable. I have been blessed with great employees whom I respect. I am honest

and fair and will do whatever it takes to get the job done to serve our customers. I also have an extensive background in customer service. I deal with internal and external customers daily and understand the importance of quality relationships and effective communication.

As Trustee, I would continue to run the office the same way it is currently being ran. My goal would be to keep the same staff on board if that is the path the current employees want. Hours of operation would also stay the same but be expanded when needed to serve the people of the county. Also, I will be available during off hours for phone calls, questions, and even open the office to serve the ones that cannot be served during normal business hours. I would also take all the state offered Trustee courses to continue growing the position and putting our office in a position to be one of the most efficient in the State. Our customer service would be second to none and our bad day would not become yours. I have conservative values, but I also know my job is to serve all the people of this county in a fair and honest way regardless of party affiliation.

In closing, I will run this office with class and top-notch customer service. We will have golden rule standards and be an office that will greet you with a smile and make your experience with us a good one. I would appreciate your vote and support as we start to move forward. My goal is to personally visit with you and ask for your support over the next few months. I stand behind my promises of not being

Clifa Norris Seeks Re-election for Smith County Clerk

I, Clifa Norris, am seeking re-election of the office of Smith County Clerk.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their support and confidence in me from the last election and the previous years to run this office for the people of this county. I consider it an honor to be able to serve you all. Most of the people of this county have met me over the years, but for the new comers that have moved into our county, I would like to introduce myself. I have lived here all my life and I graduated from Smith County High School in 1979. I live in the Tangelwood Community and I am married to James Norris. Together, we have three children: Brian (Tara) Grisham, Blake (Brooke) Grisham, and Brittany (Scott) Oliver, and we have seven grandchildren.

I would also like to take a moment to thank my wonderful staff: Lisa Cook, Amanda Crawford, Robin Watts, Felicia Huddleston, and Miranda Owen. They provide great customer service and carry out the duties of this office in a very friendly, efficient, and timely manner. I could not ask for better dedication and support from them.

At this time, I would like to explain to you some of the duties of this office. We title vehicles, renew registrations, register boats, and open business licenses. We also process marriage licenses, notary applications, beer license applications, and we also take notes, record, and prepare the minutes of the Smith County Commission meetings every month. We also assist with the kiosk machine for driver’s license and ID renewals.

Since elected to this office, I have tried to accommodate the county by being able to print same day duplicate titles and

upgrading in every way possible. I will continue to do so if re-elected.

I will be running as an Independent Candidate because this office is here to serve everyone, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent. I will try to ask you for your vote and support in person, but if I am not able to reach you in person, I want to ask you all to please consider allowing me to continue to serve as your Smith County Clerk. I would greatly appreciate your support over the next few months as I will be campaigning. I love my county and could not ask for a better place to live. Thank you for your past support and may God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Clifa Norris, Smith County Clerk

Blake Richmond Announces Candidacy for District 5 County Commission

Blake and Laci RIchmond with son, Lincoln

It is with a humble heart that I, Blake Richmond of Hickman, TN am excited to announce that I will be running for County Commissioner, District 5 in Smith County as an independent candidate.

As we all know, we are in unprecedented times with new obstacles every day. There is a call to action that this position holds to responsibly allocate our county’s finances and I am ready to accept that call as we grow and progress as a county, together. Smith County is growing by the day with new faces, new businesses and new projects. It is decided by the commissioners where this county progresses into the future. If elected, I will ensure that the future of Smith County is brighter and more beautiful than ever. We are the future of this county, and our duty as citizens is to look to the future and see where we can grow as well as how we can maintain and improve existing areas.

I have lived in Smith County my entire life. I am the son of Alex and Candace Richmond, longtime residents of Smith County. I have lived in Turkey Creek and Carthage most of my life but now I reside in Hickman with my wife, Laci Richmond, a 2011 graduate of Gordonsville High School, and my 2-year-old son, Lincoln. We are eager to join and be more a part of the tight community that is the District 5 area (Gordonsville, Hickman, Lancaster). Though I am new to living in this part of the county, I see lots of familiar faces due to my time working with Alex and John Richmond at Gordonsville Shoprite as well as my time working at Shiroki North America in Gordonsville.

I am a 2015 graduate of Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN where I received a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Business Management. I currently am I Senior Buyer at Lochinvar LLC. in Lebanon where I manage many suppliers to ensure that production can be met, and our customers are satisfied. This experience I believe is key and a good prerequisite for the office of County Commissioner.

I respectfully ask for your support in this race. While I will not be on the ballot in May as I am running as an independent candidate, I look forward to talking to each of you in District 5 about voting for Blake Richmond for County Commissioner in August.

God Bless you and keep you.

Latest list of candidates for May 3, 2022 primary; Petitions available until February 17

Qualifying petitions were made available beginning December 20, 2021, with a deadline to return them by Noon, February 17, 2022. Candidates must declare whether they will participate in the Republican or Democratic primary in May or qualify as an independent candidate. The winners of the primaries will then appear on the general election ballot on August 4, 2022. Independent candidates will not appear on the May primary ballots and only appear on the general election ballot. All candidates must qualify by Noon on February 17, 2022, regardless of participating in a primary or not.

In addition to the county primaries on May 3, the primaries for the elected offices for the 15th Judicial District will also be held. Municipal and state elections are slated to occur later in 2022.  Be sure to follow Smith County Insider for up-to-date coverage of the 2022 election cycle.

The following is a list of candidates that have picked up petitions as of February 17, 2022:

OfficeCandidatePartyDate IssuedDate Filed
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE – DIVISION IClara ByrdRepublican1/11/22
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE – DIVISION IIMichael CollinsRepublican12/20/2112/20/21
CHANCELLORCK SmithRepublican1/11/22
CRIMINAL COURTBrody KaneRepublican12/27/21
DISTRICT ATTORNEYJason LawsonRepublican2/7/22
PUBLIC DEFENDERShelley Thompson Gardner
Daniel J. Turklay
Republican
Republican
12/28/21
2/16/22
COUNTY MAYORJeff Mason
Arthur (Art) Shady
Ricky Slack
Republican
Republican
Republican
1/21/22
1/21/22
1/14/22
1/28/22
2/9/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 1
(Defeated)
Terry Givens
Chris Nixon
Helen Vose
Republican
Republican
Independent
2/2/22
1/6/22
12/20/21
2/17/22
1/24/22
2/16/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 2
(Tanglewood)
Charles Kent
Greta Anderson Kirby
William S. (Billy) Bass
Republican
Democratic
Republican
2/4/22
12/21/21
1/20/22
2/14/22
1/18/22
2/10/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 3
(New Middleton)
Scotty Barrett
Stephanie McCaleb
Republican
Independent
1/25/22
2/16/22
2/17/22
2/17/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 4
(Rock City)
Matthew J. Inyart
Cordell Smith Jr
Erika Ebel
Ronald Shumake
James W. Smith
Republican
Democratic
Independent
Independent
Independent
1/27/22
2/2/22
2/1/22
1/27/22
12/20/21

2/7/22
2/8/22
2/15/22
2/10/22
2/16/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 5
(Gordonsville)
Danny Irizarry
Steven Lish
Linda Nixon
Eddie Stout
Blake Richmond
Republican
Republican
Republican
Republican
Independent
1/21/22
1/21/22
12/20/21
12/20/21
2/3/22
2/10/22
2/1/22
2/2/22
1/14/22
2/17/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 6
(Carthage)
Casey Elrod
Justin Mauldin
Independent
Independent
12/30/21
2/10/22
2/4/22
2/17/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 7
(South Carthage)
Tommy Bane
Junior Fields
Connor D. McDonald
Republican
Republican
Republican
1/5/22
12/21/21
1/6/22
2/8/22
1/5/22
1/19/22
COUNTY COMMISSION – District 8
(Elmwood)
Tim Bellar
Danny Huff
Peggy Jo Silcox
Independent
Independent
Independent
12/20/21
2/3/22
1/25/22
2/11/22
2/17/22
TRUSTEEJackie Gentry
Julie Wright
Ronnie (RL) Lankford
Craig Williams
Republican
Republican
Independent
Independent
2/4/22
12/20/21
1/12/22
2/9/22
2/11/22
12/28/21
2/3/22
2/14/22
GENERAL SESSIONS JUDGEBranden BellarIndependent 12/28/212/16/22
SHERIFFSteve Hopper
Scott Moore
Republican
Republican
12/20/21
12/20/21
1/14/22
1/4/22
CIRCUIT COURT CLERKTommy TurnerIndependent2/4/222/11/22
COUNTY CLERKJerome Donoho
Clifa Norris
Independent
Independent
2/7/22
1/28/22
2/16/22
2/2/22
REGISTER OF DEEDSJerri Lin Vaden-MaloneIndependent 2/1/222/9/22
ROAD SUPERINTENDENTMickey G Barrett
Kenneth Butch Shores
Republican
Independent
1/26/22
1/31/22
2/3/22
SCHOOL BOARD – District 3
(New Middleton)
Marty McCaleb
Stephanie Winfree
Republican
Independent
1/11/22
12/20/21
2/16/22
2/9/22
SCHOOL BOARD – District 4
(Rock City)
Joe TaylorRepublican1/4/221/25/22
SCHOOL BOARD – District 6
(Carthage)
Barbara Kannapel
Ricky Shoulders
Republican
Republican
1/5/22
12/28/21

1/20/22
SCHOOL BOARD – District 8
(Elmwood)
Scotty LewisRepublican12/28/212/10/22

Smith County Election Press Release: County Commission Primary Explained

Historically once every four years Smith County voters have elected three candidates from each district to serve on the county commission for the next four years. Smith County has eight districts with three commissioners from each district for a total of 24 commissioners. That will continue to be the case, but the addition of party primaries in May have added a step to the process. 

When voters sign in to vote in the May Primary, they will choose either a Republican Ballot or a Democratic Ballot. Voters cannot vote in both primaries in May which means they cannot vote across party lines. They must choose one party ballot,” said Yvonne Gibbs, Smith County Administrator of Elections. “Voters will have the choice to vote for up to three candidates for county commission from the ballot they selected.” 

“In the May Primary, Republican voters will be allowed to vote for up to three county commission nominees running from their district who will be listed on the Republican Ballot and Democratic voters will also select up to three county commission nominees from their ballot to represent their respective parties in the August General Election,” she explained. “However, should only two people qualify to be county commission candidates representing a particular political party, then the voters from that party may be limited to two candidate choices instead of three. If five candidates qualify, then voters will vote for three candidates out of the five” 

The top three county commission candidates from the Republican ballot and the top three candidates from the Democratic ballot will advance to the August General Election to run against each other along with any Independent Candidates who also qualified by February 17

“Theoretically on the August ballot, we could have three Republican Candidates plus three Democratic Candidates along with an unlimited number of Independent Candidates running for county commission from any one district,” she said. 

In the August County General Election, voters will be able to vote across party lines and select three choices from all the candidates, whether Republican, Democratic or Independent. The top three candidates receiving the most votes in August will be elected to the county commission seats for that district. “The three elected could be one Republican, one Democrat, and one Independent or any combination of these three types of candidates,” she said.