Super District 10 race features incumbent versus political newcomer

Friday, May 16, 2014 7:46 PM
Last updated Saturday, May 17, 2014 1:37 AM
  • Follow Government

A popular businessman and an Augusta attorney face off Tuesday in the race to represent Super District 10, which spans Commission Districts 3, 6, 7 and 8.

At 32, Brandon Dial is less than half the age of incumbent Grady Smith, 66, but Dial said his youth is an asset.

“I think it’s time for a new generation of people on the county commission,” said Dial, an attorney who focuses on family law.

Dial, a political newcomer, said he’s received “positive” feedback from behind the many doors on which he’s knocked the last few months.

“Part of why I got in the race, part of what I’m hearing from voters is a disappointment with Grady and his record,” Dial said. “They’re disappointed in his attendance record and his usage of the gas card.”

Smith missed several meetings in 2012 because of heart surgery and complications from diabetes, but said he’s fully recovered.

The owner of a successful plumbing business with his brother, Smith said he came from a time people respected “gray-headed wisdom.”

“What does he own?” Smith asked. The young “want to be down the road, but they don’t want to pay the price; they want to leapfrog.”

Smith, who defeated the much-younger, Deke Copenhaver-backed Sean Frantom in 2010, defended his use of the gas card to travel around the large super district and to training sessions in other cites.

Dial said he wanted to “restore trust in city government” that is eroded when residents see officials abuse the system.

Smith was censured by his colleagues in 2013 when his company was found to be performing subcontracting work on an Augusta Utilities contract at Fort Gordon.

He defended the work Friday, saying he informed the city attorney about the work, which he said his company performed at the lowest price.

“When does a county own property on a federal post?” he asked. “When it’s a bid process and you’re a subcontractor, you’re so far down the bread line. We should be all about saving the taxpayers money in Richmond County.”

The garrulous Smith counts his Richmond County classmates among his donors and supporters and said his success in business and politics stems from always making time for people.

“My guys that work for me, they’ve given their life for this company. My door’s never shut. All my guys know they can depend on me,” he said. “That’s the way I was raised, starting with Monte Sano school all the way to Richmond Academy. What you see is what you get.”


NAME: Brandon Dial

AGE: 32

BIRTHPLACE: Kansas City, Mo.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in political science, University of Georgia; Juris Doctor, Mississippi College



FAMILY: Married; two daughters

NAME: Grady Smith

AGE: 66


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Georgia Regents University

OCCUPATION: Mechanical contractor

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: One commission term; chairman of the Georgia Construction Board’s plumbing division since 1992; Forest Hills Golf Club management committee; Augusta State University board of trustees; past president, Augusta Exchange Club; worked on Carlisle Overstreet, Bill Kuhlke and Don Grantham campaigns

FAMILY: Married; two children and six grandchildren

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
triscuit 05/16/14 - 09:28 pm
Hope Dial wins.

Hope Dial wins.

UGAFan22 05/16/14 - 10:04 pm
Invested in my community

"What does he own?"

I own my home. I, along with my wife, own a rental house in Augusta. I also own an interest in a real estate investment firm that owns an office building and three lots in Augusta. I am invested in the success of Augusta-Richmond County.

But more important than my real estate investments, I am the father of two girls who were born in Augusta, and who are being raised in this great city. I am invested in improving our community for my generation, my daughters' generation, and ALL generations.

The only thing I am trying to "leapfrog" over is ineffective representation and the current government that is holding us back as a city.

Brandon Dial

Sonny Pittman
Sonny Pittman 05/16/14 - 10:47 pm
Keep Grady Smith

I have known and respected Grady Smith since our days together at ARC.

Grady is exactly the kind of thoughtful and experienced leader we need representing Super District 10 on the Augusta Commission.

Which is why I voted for his election to a first term and his reelection to a second.

The Augusta Chronicle Editorial Board said it best this week in their endorsement, "Keep Grady Smith."

Butterman 05/16/14 - 11:37 pm

If the voters of Dist. 10 re-elect Grady, they should be ashamed of themselves. Having attended a few commission meeting, Grady seems to be asleep most of the time, feet up on the dais.. and does not seem to know what he is voting for. Grady needs to just retire and go fishing. Give Dial a chance.

dotherightthing 05/17/14 - 12:14 am
Vote Dial

Did Grady just completely tear up the younger generation?? And try to excuse his behavior that got him censured?? Please, please, please tell me that people see through this guy and see that Brandon Dial will make Augusta a better place to live. Vote Dial...Grady's got to go!

raul 05/17/14 - 12:33 am
I would like to see Dial win

I would like to see Dial win too. Hope he realizes how much time that will be non billable hours he will be away from his practice. Some of those meetings do go on.

Conservative Man
Conservative Man 05/17/14 - 09:41 am

……is Grady doing asking the questions he asked?…"What does he own?'

Well I know of at least two things Mr. Dial owns. A nice nice home in a fashionable area on the hill and a thriving law practice….

Same old tired Grady asking the same old tired questions, not even knowing the answers TO those questions…

..Give it up Grady, its time to just give it up…

Vote Brandon Dial District 10...

triscuit 05/17/14 - 10:24 am
The Country Club/Hill set

The Country Club/Hill set will go for Grady. Hopefully the rest of this District will vote Dial.

Lori Davis
Lori Davis 05/17/14 - 10:27 am
Brandon Dial for District 10

This question about,"What does he own," was a question Grady asked everyone he encountered when he was running against Sean Frantom in 2010. Looks like this time he has it 100% wrong. I hope Brandon will post a rebuttal on this forum as he has in others. It is time for new blood in that seat and Brandon Dial is a wonderful choice! Vote Brandon Dial District 10 Tuesday May 20th!

countyman 05/17/14 - 11:57 am
Brandon Dial

I'm excited the city of Augusta is finally beginning to wake up culturally.. The candidates running for the RCBOE and commission should include multiple people under the age of 45..

Why does the majority of commission members have to be in the 50 to 65 range?

The majority of people living in Augusta are under the age of 50 and the commission should reflect the entire community..

The only problem is the local media and the older crowd will still vote for Grady Smith..

Hopefully Mr. Dial can win this election and begin to shake things up in this city..

dichotomy 05/17/14 - 12:22 pm
To Brandon Dial: I want

To Brandon Dial:

I want someone to represents THE PEOPLE in their district, or super district, and that votes in THEIR BEST INTEREST. That best interest is not always the same as the best interest for DOWNTOWN.

In my opinion, Grady Smith has voted too many times against the interest of the PEOPLE he was supposed to be representing and in favor of (downtown) Augusta.

I am not part of the school of thought that says what is good for (downtown) Augusta is good for everyone. I am tired of watching MY tax money pay for (downtown) Augusta "progress" while my area of the county continues to deteriorate. You DO NOT FIX A COUNTY by relocating the slums and the people who create them to a different part of the county.

With Consolidation the rest of the county took on a welfare project known as the old city of Augusta. Tax dollars were sucked out of the south end of the county and we've gotten higher taxes and overpriced fees for ALL services we have received. Now the south end of the county is looking like the "old city". Downtown has shiny new buildings and Laney Walker has a few new houses and a lot of vacant lots. The south end has lost restaurants, retail, neighborhoods are deteriorating, and crime is spreading.

If you get elected Mr. Dial, remember that you are supposed to represent the PEOPLE of super district 10....NOT downtown Augusta and the ruling cabal. I am tired of buying P.S. "and associates" new toys with MY tax money and giving tax money to PRIVATE organizations, all while I am paying double the going rate for garbage service, high property taxes on a house that is valued way above market value, unbelievably high school taxes, and can't even get a cop to come when someone hits my house and car with a shotgun.

We are not electing someone to fix downtown Augusta. We are primarily concerned with electing someone to REPRESENT US, OUR INTERESTS....which I do not think Grady Smith has done very well.

Now Mr. need to tell us.......are you a "protect and represent the best interests of my constituents" guy or are you a "what's good for downtown is good for everyone so shut up and pay your taxes" guy?

I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer to that.

Super district seats are a bad thing because they are so large and, in many cases, you end up voting for somebody who has never been in your part of the county and could give a damn less about your area.

badmoon426 05/17/14 - 01:55 pm
Retire Out Of Office...

...ethically challenged Grady Smith.

It is time for a change in the direction of local government.

Vote for Dial.

triscuit 05/17/14 - 05:10 pm
"Worked on campaigns for

"Worked on campaigns for Overstreet, Kuhlke and Grantham." Well that's 3 more reasons NOT to vote for Grady.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 05/18/14 - 09:05 pm

Grady Smith scorned, thumbed his nose at, razzed, and disdained the city's ordinance on conflict of interest and ethics. He was censured by a majority vote by the very commission on which he sits. He needs to go.

Back to Top
Top headlines

Richmond County elementary schools lead in weapons cases

There were more weapons-related incidents in Richmond County elementary schools during the 2014-15 school year than at middle or high schools, with the weapons ranging from blunt objects to handguns.
Search Augusta jobs