• The News Reporter

Smith will file for council seat


Whiteville native Justin Smith announced Monday his intention to run for a District 1 city city council seat in the November general election.

“I am proud to be a third-generation Whiteville resident and want to ensure that my children and everyone in our great city have an opportunity to succeed here,” he said.

Smith, 32, has been active in Whiteville since returning to his hometown after college.

“My professional experience with the Columbus County Economic Development Commission and Southeastern Community College provided me with valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges facing our community,” Smith said.

Additionally, his work as a reporter with WECT and his current position in the Chancellor’s Office at UNC Pembroke offer a regional perspective.

“People are looking for the type of charm and convenience Whiteville offers,” Smith said. “I believe our community is poised for continued success and growth if we take advantage of our assets, including our proximity to areas like Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.”

“I am proud to live in Whiteville and am optimistic about its future,” he said. “I will focus on job creation, parks and recreation and cultural opportunities, while remaining committed to the city’s core responsibility of providing public safety and infrastructure.”

Smith, who is registered unaffiliated, said he is eager to work with everyone for the betterment of Whiteville, regardless of their political views. The city council race is nonpartisan.

He is a member of the Whiteville Rotary Club and previously served on the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board of Directors.

A graduate of Whiteville High School, Smith earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in public administration from UNC Wilmington. He is also a graduate of Leadership North Carolina.

Smith’s wife, Rachel, has been employed with the Columbus County Schools for nine years. They have two children: 4-year-old Scott and 1-year-old Julia. They are members of First Presbyterian Church of Whiteville.

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