Wilson County sheriff’s deputy to face three other candidates in open field
Justin Smith, 31, officially qualified recently as a candidate for the District 25 seat on the Wilson County Commission.
Jim Emberton currently holds the seat and does not plan to seek re-election. Other candidates in District 25 include Preston George, Arlie Bragg and John Wayne Hamblen. Early voting will be from July 13-28 with Election Day slated for Aug. 2.
Smith has worked for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years and is on his fifth year as a member of the SWAT team. He is a fourth-generation resident of Wilson County. With several family members serving in the Armed Forces, he has a distinct advantage as a county commissioner candidate. He said leadership was instilled in him from day one, along with a love of the place he calls home.
“Service before self…that’s what they teach you in the police academy and SWAT team training. It’s our DNA makeup… But for myself, that slogan has been a lifestyle and core belief handed down in my family for generations. Because I was blessed enough to have upstanding role models, I was able to grow up conditioned to lead, protect, and serve,” said Smith.
As a lifelong resident of Wilson County, Smith said it gives him a unique perspective to watch the county change and realize which changes were successful and what values remained important to residents.
“I came from a family that’s passionate about the place we call home,” Smith said. “It’s a passion that has been instilled in me, furthering my desire to obtain a position of leadership to give the people of this county a voice. I want to keep Wilson County’s core values strong. I want to expand my service to not just protect our county, but to also make it better in this time of rapid growth and change. Teamwork is the key to success in any government. It’s about bringing the community together to share ideas and working alongside one another to create the best place to work, worship and raise our families.”
Smith said some of the challenges that face Wilson County are a result of exponential growth. Schools, infrastructure, tax dollars and roads are the areas he is focused on and plans to tackle if he’s elected to the District 25 seat.
“A large portion of our roads, as well as the funds allocated for those roads, is state controlled,” Smith said. “Having a great working relationship with state legislators is the first step to bringing our tax dollars home, and planning to create a road system to accommodate Wilson County’s growth is of utmost importance. We are continuing to expand and need to set ourselves up to do so successfully, along with setting the next generation up for success.”
Smith said he believes the best way to secure positive and productive growth within the county is to invest in the generations to come.
“Our children are our greatest assets,” he said. “The education and experience we give them will set the tone for the kind of world they create after we are gone. I believe in investing in the safety and quality of our children’s education, not just the buildings they learn in.”
Smith is a graduate of Volunteer State Community College where he received a degree as an emergency medical technician. He holds a certificate in basic police and basic SWAT through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. In addition, he holds certifications in instructor development, SWAT entry shield instructor, dispatch, basic firefighting and TIES through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He attends Barton’s Creek Baptist Church and enjoys his off time as a scuba diving instructor, working out and spending time with his family.
“Protecting and serving the residents of Wilson County is my passion,” Smith said. “I have seen both the best and the worst of our county, and I believe I have the disposition, experience and skills to listen to and lead District 25. I believe a government is a customer service entity, and the elected members of county commissioners are the provided voice of the people they represent. I am asking to be your representative for District 25 to serve you, the people and future of Wilson County.”