Betty Smith to run again for county commissioner - this time as a Democrat

She left GOP last year to protest its gun raffle

March 08, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Betty L. Smith, a self-employed marketing consultant and picture framer who quit the Republican Party to protest its gun raffle, became the third Democratic candidate to enter the race for county commissioner yesterday.

The 53-year-old Uniontown resident might find the Sept. 10 primary ballot less-crowded than when she ran four years ago as a Republican. She finished eighth of 14 candidates in 1998.

Smith resigned as vice chairwoman of the Republican Central Committee last summer in protest of the party's gun raffle fund-raiser, an event she called "insensitive and irresponsible." She switched her party affiliation and thanked Democrats yesterday for being gracious and welcoming.

She chose the Carroll County Agriculture Center, which she said "represents the Carroll County way of life," as the background for her announcement before a bipartisan crowd of about 40 people, some of whom worked on her last campaign.

She called on members of both parties to combine efforts and "work together for this county. Citizens are important, not political persuasion," she said.

Smith is running again because "I love Carroll County and I want to be the voice for the people," she said. "I want to put government back in the hands of you and I."

She will campaign for growth controls, better management of county resources, particularly water, and more economic development. If elected, she said she would appoint a citizens advisory group to be part of the planning process.

"It is time to raise the red flag on [residential] development until we can provide infrastructure," said Smith, a wife and mother of four.

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