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Trooper announces run for Augusta Commission post

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 1:15 PM
Last updated 7:48 PM
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Donnie Smith, a lieutenant with the Georgia State Patrol, on Tuesday became the second candidate to announce his run for the District 7 Augusta Commission seat.

Smith, who made the announcement at the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse, previously served seven years as a Richmond County sheriff’s investigator and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Leadership Georgia, according to a news release.

“I will work hard for District 7 and I will do whatever it takes to help the commission work together and move all of Augusta-Richmond County into a brighter future,” said Smith, who also serves on Augusta’s personnel board.

He joins former three-term Richmond County school board member Kenneth Echols in pursuing the District 7 seat. Echols announced his intentions last year.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham, who is ending two consecutive terms as the District 7 commissioner, is term-limited from running again this year.

Qualifying for five commission posts coming open this year begins in May.

Comments (51) Add comment
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Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/17/12 - 02:51 pm
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Is Donnie Smith married?

Is Donnie Smith married? Kids?

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 01/17/12 - 03:43 pm
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i always thought those
Unpublished

i always thought those married and kids questions were such fluff. i love to see that not addressed, yet here is one of my favorite commenters asking about it. i wonder why.

Conservative Man
5577
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Conservative Man 01/17/12 - 04:01 pm
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I'd be more interested in

I'd be more interested in finding out who Augusta's "ruling elite" endorse for the seat..

Just My Opinion
5928
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Just My Opinion 01/17/12 - 04:07 pm
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"Trooper"?? I thought they

"Trooper"?? I thought they were talking about "Trooper Terry"! (don't know if anybody remembers that guy??) Well, THAT would be a breath of fresh air, wouldn't it? I mean, when the fur starts flying, all Trooper Terry needs to do is pull the old Magic Viewing Machine and everybody's attitude will change just like that!

Conservative Man
5577
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Conservative Man 01/17/12 - 04:16 pm
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JMO I remember Trooper

JMO I remember Trooper Terry...I guess we both just revealed ourselves to be "old timers" around here!!

GeezeLouise
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GeezeLouise 01/17/12 - 04:17 pm
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I thought "Tropper Terry"
Unpublished

I thought "Tropper Terry" too.. I guess that shows our age. I think Ken Echols will win this in a landslide though.

Austin Rhodes
2921
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Austin Rhodes 01/17/12 - 04:22 pm
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Not married...no kids...has

Not married...no kids...has been DA Ashley Wright's significant other for over 10 years. Great cop...good guy.

Got two good ones in this race!

GeezeLouise
0
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GeezeLouise 01/17/12 - 04:44 pm
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well sounds like Augusta will
Unpublished

well sounds like Augusta will get a big improvement either way. Thank goodness for term limits

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/17/12 - 05:34 pm
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His opinion on the most

His opinion on the most debated issues would be helpful for decision making.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/17/12 - 05:35 pm
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I did get the trooper thing,

I did get the trooper thing, though:)

itsanotherday1
45610
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itsanotherday1 01/17/12 - 05:36 pm
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I don't have a dog in this

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I would like to see new blood. Ken is a good guy and would do a great job, but he is connected to the county political establishment already from his time on the school board. That could be an advantage, but someone without any ties or relationships beyond their g/f would seem better to me.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/17/12 - 05:55 pm
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Well, yeah, I knew the answer

Well, yeah, I knew the answer to the wife question. Does he have kids? Austin calls him Ashley Wright's "significant other." They have been "together for a decade" apparently. I take it they have been living together that long? What's up with that? That's what I'm getting at BSNM.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/17/12 - 05:56 pm
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Doesn't that make Ashley

Doesn't that make Ashley Wright his common law wife?

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/17/12 - 06:17 pm
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The church vote has always

The church vote has always been an important factor in Richmond County. I wonder how they will react to the Donnie Smith-Ashley Wright "significant other" arrangement? This could get interesting.

fatboyhog
2025
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fatboyhog 01/17/12 - 08:42 pm
0
0
What makes him a "good guy",

What makes him a "good guy", Austin? What do we need to know about him? Former Richmond County Deputy, but works for the GSP. What Post? How dedicated is he to this community? Other than having the D.A. as his significant other, what has he done for this community? We need some information.

TCB22
676
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TCB22 01/17/12 - 08:54 pm
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Out of all due respect to the

Out of all due respect to the commenters on this article: You all complain every day about the current state of affairs - and a man throws his hat in the ring and all you want to do is smudge his name on day one? Augusta would be lucky to have someone like Mr. Smith in a leadership position. It's a wonder anyone runs for office the way the public treats them. Listen to his platform and go to his meetings and ask questions. Then, say what you want. Until then, be respectful.

BuckeyeInGA
114
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BuckeyeInGA 01/17/12 - 09:14 pm
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Donnie is a wonderful person.

Donnie is a wonderful person. He is one of the law enforcement officers that was injured during the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. He took a hit from some of the bomb pieces.

TCB22
676
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TCB22 01/17/12 - 09:24 pm
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I retract the plural on the

I retract the plural on the word "commenters" on my post above. Not all of you were hitting below the belt.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 01/17/12 - 09:49 pm
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Is there any elected official
Unpublished

Is there any elected official in Augusta that the voters are absolutely satisfied with? Just what has a position on the RCBOE got in common with the commission position? As nearas I can tell the RCBOE bunch are very efficient at spending money for just about anything but a little lax in their posting of a budget that is readable or understandable or open. Of course if we take past performance at the polls, then we will continue to send the good old boys back to the closed room meeting hall. I for one could care less who a candidate is, as long as he/she is not an incumbent anything.

daviddunagan
331
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daviddunagan 01/17/12 - 10:11 pm
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It's not fair to assume that

It's not fair to assume that Ms. Wright (or any other woman for that matter) lives with the person she dates just because they have had a long term relationship.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 01/18/12 - 02:16 am
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Questions relevant to married

Questions relevant to married or kids are (or should be) irrelevant. If he will do a great job (and he will as he does now) your comments should be a complete non-issue.

Two good candidates but Donnie is a great guy, good officer and would be good for improving the needs of law enforcement in the area instead of the constant slashing of the budgets occurring now.

TCB22, you are 100% correct. Many good people who would be great for our community will have nothing to do with politics. No one meets the "perfect mold" of what you "should be" and they don't wish to deal with this type of ridiculousness. If the person is willing to represent our area and do a great job as this Trooper is willing to do then he should be supported. If you disagree with his work performance or policies, attack away.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 05:37 am
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See this is one of those

See this is one of those issues where I make people mad at me because I point out the obvious many want to overlook. On the radio it was remarked many times that the DA, Ashley Wright, was his significant other as a positive attribute. The interview got into whether they discussed legal matters and so on. He said they were both tired of law work at the end of the day and didn't.

We've all known about the relationship for a long time, but now he is a candidate and it's pertinent. David Dunnagan said above you can't assume they live together because they have a relationship. That's true, but that's the impression from the radio interview.

So I simply ask if they currently live together or have they in the past? What will be the effect of the relationship with the church vote which is considerable? Some church goers view such relationships in a negative way.

In Georgia if a couple lived together prior to 1997 they are in a common law marriage. Maybe that applies in this case? Why not ask Mr. Smith and Ms Wright to clarify the situation since they are now BOTH public, political figures?

urright
465
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urright 01/18/12 - 11:21 am
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Since Riverman knows

Since Riverman knows everything, I assume he knew they never lived together. I've known them both for about 15 years and have never gotten the impression they ever lived together.
Lt. Smith is a wonderful, upstanding man and I have nothing but respect for him. He will bring a new perspective to the Board and will get my vote.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 11:39 am
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Urright said, "I've known

Urright said, "I've known them both for about 15 years and have never gotten the impression they ever lived together."

Well, like you imply, I could have gotten it wrong from Austin's comments, but you apparently don't really know either if they have ever lived together. You said you never got the impression. Maybe someone in the media should just ask them since it was presented that they are each other's significant other for over a decade.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 11:38 am
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Some people get rightfully

Some people get rightfully get upset about things like this and set the record straight. One local TV lady was getting married to a local attorney and before they got married, a radio guy said something to her about not commenting on a case the attorney was involved with. He said when you go home to him at night, yada, yada, yada. The young lady quickly corrected him that they were not living together. Maybe it's time for a clarification here.

Austin Rhodes
2921
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Austin Rhodes 01/18/12 - 11:42 am
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No clarification is needed.

No clarification is needed. Thousands heard that broadcast and YOU are the only one making "oily" comments. I have known Donnie for anout three years...AW since she joined the DA's office...and her family since high school.

Par for the course for you.

Austin Rhodes
2921
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Austin Rhodes 01/18/12 - 11:45 am
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...and I NEVER inferred that

...and I NEVER inferred that reporter was "living with" the atty representing the controversial news maker (a convicted felon).

I did say that as someone conducting an interview, that was CLEARLY sympathetic, she was making a huge mistake.

Apples and orangutans.

Little Lamb
47275
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 11:46 am
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Susan McCord wrote: Smith,

Susan McCord wrote:

Smith, who made the announcement at the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse. . . .

I wish, I wish, I wish that The Augusta Chronicle would add to its Stylebook some commonsense guidance about referring to the new courthouse building. The thought of having to read an eight-word name for the place from now on is depressing.

How about the following:

If we are covering stories about the building itself or as a location (as Ms. McCord is doing above), let's just write "the Augusta Judicial Center."

If we are covering stories about courtroom trials or about judges, let's write "the Ruffin Courthouse."

Concise is better than verbose.

Riverman1
87556
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 11:47 am
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Austin, who cares who you

Austin, who cares who you know? You made the statements and I suspect you were probably right about Wright and him.

Little Lamb
47275
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 11:49 am
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I live in the seventh

I live in the seventh district and I have never met Mr. Donnie Smith. However, I most assuredly will vote for Mr. Smith because I have met Ken Echols.

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