Smith Mountain Lake Association President Lorie Smith is seeking a seat on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.
Smith, who is running as a Republican, hopes to represent the Gills Creek District. The position is currently held by Bob Camicia, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term.
Smith, 57, has previous experience in local politics, serving on both the city council and school board in her former home of Waynesboro. She believes that experience has prepared her to serve on the Franklin County board.
“I am ready to start work day one,” Smith said. “I can say that with a great degree of certainty, not only from my experience in Waynesboro but because I have been very entrenched in Franklin County since I moved here.”
Smith has lived at the lake for seven years. She and her husband visited Smith Mountain Lake throughout their marriage and always aspired to retire there.
Not long after moving to Franklin County, Smith jumped into community work, wanting to get to know the area and give back.
“I’m very proud of my participation here and it’s helped me learn about Franklin County, it’s helped me learn about the people here,” Smith said.
In addition to the Smith Mountain Lake Association, Smith has worked with the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, Neighbors Helping Neighbors and Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake. She was part of the citizen advisory committee that contributed to the Westlake/Hales Ford village plan and has been involved with efforts to bring a community center to the lake.
Smith said she has dedicated her life to nonprofit and volunteer work, along with caring for her daughter, who was born with severe disabilities.
As a supervisor, Smith said encouraging economic development, particularly in designated growth areas, would be a top priority. She also said it’s important that the county be business friendly.
“If we don’t grow Franklin County with the opportunities that we have, taxation is going to continue to increase and inflation is just going to eat us up here,” Smith said.
And supporting the school system — particularly efforts to expand career and technical education offerings — is essential to Smith’s economic development goals.
Smith also said she’d like to dive into the county’s budget. She favors zero-based budgeting, which would require departments to justify their spending each year.
Smith said she cares deeply about making informed votes, and that listening to stakeholders and researching the issues are a key part of her process.
The filing deadline for candidates seeking party nominations was last week, but independent candidates have until June 11 to file their paperwork to get on the ballot in November.