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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.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 11:49 am
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Oh, I distinctly remember the

Oh, I distinctly remember the reporter CORRECTING the interviewer about her living arrangements with the attorney. Now if you say that's not true you have a real problem recognizing the truth and facts.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 11:52 am
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LL, the funny thing is I kind

LL, the funny thing is I kind of like what I heard from Smith, too. I'd probably vote for him, too. Still, he and Wright will be an issue. Heck, it could be many will vote for him just because they are not married. Who knows? It's certainly not a sin in my book, but many social conservatives in Richmond Cty may view it as such.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 01/18/12 - 11:53 am
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She asserted they did not

She asserted they did not live together, but I made NO suggestion that they did. Just like no one has suggested that of Smith and Wright...

...and try as you might JB...you ALWAYS seem to care about who and what I know. You sure do post about it often enough. The reason I explained my longtime friendship with these two is to further show that I don't need to "imply" anything about them, because I already know the situation. Just like I do with Ken Echols and his lovely family.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 12:00 pm
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Oh, I heard very clearly.

Oh, I heard very clearly. Care about you? Heh. You are always coming after me when I criticize just about anyone in power if you think you can ingratiate yourself to them. You are the one who jumped on the this story after I said something.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 12:02 pm
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Though I will happily vote

Though I will happily vote for whomever is running against Ken Echols, I do find it a little strange for a state employee to be running for a city government office. I know there are policy guidelines that must be followed when state employees seek a second job (i.e., moonlighting). At the very least you have to convince your supervisor that the second job would create no conflict for your state job.

Commission meetings and committee meetings occur day and night, and (as we saw last week) they do not hesitate to call special meetings.

I'm sure he is getting pretty good legal advice, but I can see conflicts in law enforcement sitting on the county commission. At least if Smith is elected, the other commissioners could easily get their speeding tickets fixed.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 12:03 pm
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Maybe to clear the whole

Maybe to clear the whole matter up, someone in the media should ask Wright and Smith if they live together or ever have since it has become an issue due to the radio interview. Georgia has laws about common law marriages so maybe it's actually not that big of a deal either way.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 01/18/12 - 12:04 pm
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LL...anything is

LL...anything is possible...BUT...these ain't the olden days when all that happened was a paper ticket being ripped up.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 12:05 pm
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LL, when he worked for the

LL, when he worked for the RCSO I wonder if conflicts of interest arose with the DA's office?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 12:16 pm
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Well, we have the current Tax

Well, we have the current Tax Commissioner sitting on the board of directors of the Downtown Development Authority in violation of city ordinance. We had a former county commissioner (Marion Williams) serving two consecutive terms as mayor pro tempore in violation of city charter. We have the current district ten commissioner sitting on the board of directors of Forest Hills Golf Club which gets a super sweetheart deal on its potable water rates from the city. We had a former county commissioner (Betty Beard) voting on a liquor license application for the person she sold a business to against the legal advice of the city attorney (violation of ethics provision in city charter).

So, I guess nothing really matters. They just do what they want anyway.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 12:23 pm
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Well, a little research shows

Well, a little research shows that Betty Beard did not vote in the liquor matter. But she announced that she would vote if there were not enough votes to pass. That shows her ethics.

Liquor Conflict

I'll get off my soapbox and be quiet for a while.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 12:28 pm
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Valid comments, LL. Thanks

Valid comments, LL. Thanks :).

Cadence
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Cadence 01/18/12 - 01:38 pm
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It would be so nice to have

It would be so nice to have some fresh people on our commission, if they are indeed fresh. I will be glad when they all run their course and have to be replaced by sane people.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/18/12 - 02:19 pm
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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.

augustagator
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augustagator 01/18/12 - 02:42 pm
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They have never lived

They have never lived together. They do not live together now. Ask them and you will get the same answer.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/18/12 - 05:12 pm
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Good one Little Lamb,

Good one Little Lamb, lol....Mr. Smith is a good guy and will bring a breath of fresh air to the commission if elected.

I can't imagine being so obsessed with who he is or isn't living with or posing questions to which you already know the answer in an effort to stir the pot on a non-issue.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 05:22 pm
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Asitisinaug, I can't ever

Asitisinaug, I can't ever remember seeing a bio of a candidate that doesn't describe his marital status and so on. The higher the office, the more it is scrutinized. Here we actually have two offices, one the DA's, involved. It's a valid question and circumstance to examine.

According to AugustaGator, who has only made this once post so I take it he did it just to say this, they don't live together and never did. Good enough. I will say when they are being described as each other's significant other in the media, questions are going to be asked.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/18/12 - 08:10 pm
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Maybe so although not always

Maybe so although not always and not often in local politics such as this...and certainly not worthy of numerous posts by the same person but whatever...no big deal to me either way I guess.

I just want the best leadership we can get around here (entire CSRA) be it black, white, brown, male, female, young, old, married, single, dating or divorced...could care less if they are a good person, have the right intentions and will do a good job...never really have seen the actual media focus much on their personal life unless it was in complete disarray just as this article didn't focus on it. It MAY come up but can’t see a real reporter giving it much time and neither should we. This county needs MAJOR help right now so his marital status is the least of my worries and so is his opponents. It isn’t hard for one to recognize these types of questions for what they really are.

We need good people to step up but now days every single decision they make about anything/everything can be blogged, posted, scrutinized, etc. to the point that you will only have people seeking office that could care less what we think of them.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 09:03 pm
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AsitisinAug, I continued the

AsitisinAug, I continued the discussion because of responses directed at me here. Many of those and my responses were pulled. However, I am 100% sure it is valid news. We are discussing the DA and now a candidate for the Commission.

Like I said way up the thread, my bringing this matter up was going to tick off many. I am not so naive to think it wouldn't. But if everyone were being honest, they would have to say it is a legitmate concern for a candidate and office holder. I always strive to find logical points regardless of the popular opinion although I'll govern my comments with compassion if the situation calls for it.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/18/12 - 09:04 pm
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I heard Smith on the radio

I heard Smith on the radio and genuinely like what I heard. I generally approve of the work Ashley Wright does. I especially like the way she took the stand in the Scott Dean trial. So my bringing up an obvious issue in no way means I don't think they are or would both be capable officer holders.

On another level, their decade long "significant other" relationship is no big deal to me. I, personally, don't see anything wrong with things like that. But, once again, churches, that control a big vote here may, is the point. Social conservatives and all that.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/19/12 - 12:52 am
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I understand but if you think

I understand but if you think they are both good and it isn't a big deal, it wouldn't seem logical to be the one to bring it up. Frankly, I don't think it will be a media issue only a blogging or gossiping issue behind the scenes. You are right, many church goers haven't a clue as to why they ar there and what their mission should be.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/19/12 - 09:38 am
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The Chronicle always does a

The Chronicle always does a bio of the candidates with age, job, education and marital status. It will be interesting how they handle this one since the "significant other" description is apparently okay with the couple.

What really brought this to the forefront is the way it was played up on the radio. The radio guy pointed out how long Smith had been with Wright. He even asked his radio partner how long he had been with his wife and then said Smith had been with Wright even longer. The "significant other" description was often used. So it will all be interesting.

It's possible many will vote for him because they kind of like the idea of someone being outside the box. I'd vote for him.

LL, tell me what you don't like about Ken Echols. I'm curious.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 01/19/12 - 12:39 pm
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RM took issue (at some point)

RM took issue (at some point) of me using the term "significant other" with DS in ref to his 13 year committed relationship with AW.

As people well north of the age of 30, I find the terms "boyfriend/girlfriend" a bit dated and inadequate in describing such a situation. So blame "significant other" on me, and my language preferences.

I think the relationship is important, because if you see DS in public out and about, chances are AW will be with him. People would wonder, "Why is the DA hanging out with this Commissioner so much?"...then of course, all kinds of BS gets tossed out, like one of them started the relationship to get access to power/insight/seek favors...whatever.

I think it is important to note they have been together over a decade, well before EITHER was in a position of political significance, AND the fact that if you think AW is a good DA, chances are pretty good you would think she would not be hanging out with a loser for the last 13 years.

It is significant to point out.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/19/12 - 02:20 pm
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Thanks

Thanks

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/19/12 - 02:29 pm
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AR, I was not taking issue

AR, I was not taking issue with you, but simply pointing out the reality of the remark labeling the relationship. Now I LIKE the way you just explained it. I buy that completely.

georgiaranger
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georgiaranger 01/19/12 - 08:04 pm
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I have known Lt. Donnie Smith

I have known Lt. Donnie Smith both professionally and personally for many years. He has served his community and state as a highly respected law enforcement officer. This gentleman is intelligent, articulate, educated and has a history of civic involvement. I am very fortunate to call him my loyal and trusted friend. The citizens of District 7 will be well served by this honorable man.

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