The son of the man who held the Georgia House District 129 seat said Wednesday he will attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Kip Smith, 27, will run in this fall’s special election to fill the seat vacated by Vance Smith, who was named commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation last month. He had to resign his House seat, which he held since 1992.
“I have always been interested in politics,” Kip Smith said. “I think it is a great asset knowing I have a father who served this community and did the best he could. He’s a good role model.”
But Kip Smith said the decision to run was his.
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“I have my own opinions, and he knows that,” Kip Smith said.
The district includes parts of Muscogee, Harris and Troup counties. Kip Smith currently lives in Columbus, but is a native of Pine Mountain, Ga.
“I have experience with citizens in every county in the district,” Kip Smith said. “I know the problems of every county. I think that does give me an advantage.”
It is likely to be a crowded race.
Four other candidates have said they will qualify to run when an election date is set by Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office.
Those who have announced candidacy are:
• Colin Martin, a Muscogee County Republican party activist and a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
• Jerry Luquire, publication consultant and a former radio and television talk-show host.
• Steve Earles, Pine Mountain, Ga., salon owner.
• Earl Davis, a Harris County businessman who last served in the General Assembly as a state representative 35 years ago.Luquire is taking an interesting approach to his campaign.
In an e-mail to former Muscogee County School Board Member Fife Whiteside, which Whiteside sent to a number of people, Luquire said he was suspending his campaign until Sept. 15, the date Columbus voters will decide a sales tax vote for the local school district.
In the e-mail, Luquire said he will “devote time and resources planned for that campaign to another very important matter...I will do all possible as volunteer for VOTE YES for our SPLOST!”
Perdue must set the date for the special election to fill the District 129 vacancy. That date had not been set yet, but Luquire said in his e-mail it would likely be Nov. 3 when there are municipal elections in Troup and Harris counties.
“We are trying to schedule it at the same time as local elections,” said Perdue’s spokesman Bert Brantley.