WILLIAMSON - As time drew nigh for the deadline to file to run for office, the Daily News spoke with two candidates who have filed for office, one for commission and the other for magistrate.
Greg “Hootie” Smith, who is completing his third term in office as a commissioner, filed Thursday and announced his plans to retain the seat he now holds. When asked his feelings on once again entering the political ring, Smith issued the following statement:
“I want to thank everyone for their kind words of encouragement, as well as their support and prayers for me and my family. I consider it a great privilege and honor to serve as one of your Mingo County commissioners. I have always strived to try to make our county a better and safer place. I am very proud of our accomplishments but we still have a lot of work to do. There are many critical projects that are on the verge of becoming a reality that will greatly enhance our county. I am asking the good people of Mingo County to re-elect me as your commissioner because Mingo County deserves a commissioner with vision for our future.”
Jim Harvey, a Chattaroy native who has sought the office of county commissioner and magistrate in the past, is thus far the sole candidate for the office of magistrate. Harvey has filed for the unexpired term of former Magistrate Dallas Toler, who resigned before being indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of voter registration fraud. He spoke of the need he sees to restore public trust in county officials, and shared the following comments after his recent filing.
“First of all, let me say that I have the utmost respect for the two current magistrates that have served Mingo County for several years, those being Dee Sidebottom and Pam Newsome. I think they have done a wonderful job of seeing that justice is always served.”
“After seeing what the county has gone through in the last year, the embarrassment of our political leaders being indicted by the federal grand jury and resigning from the offices they were elected to, I saw a need to step up to the plate. The public trusts the candidates of their choice to be honest, forthcoming and to do what was right, and I know that we have to make a change. We have to go down a different road than what they have traveled, and make changes that are way overdue.”
Harvey said he doesn’t consider himself a politician, but rather a hard-working, taxpaying, law-abiding citizen who knows he can help put Mingo County back on the right track and perform the duties he is elected to perform in a respectful manner.
“I know what type of person I am … my friends, family and co-workers can tell you what type of person I am. I will put the needs of the residents of Mingo County first in this office, and I can assure you that each and every person that comes before me will be treated fairly, without favoritism or prejudice. Every victim deserves justice, and every defendant deserves a fair trial.”