Former WECT reporter to run for council seat

Former WECT reporter to run for council seat
Former WECT reporter Justin Smith was elected to the Whiteville City Council in 2017.

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Former WECT reporter and Whiteville native Justin Smith announced his intention to run for a District 1 council seat in the November General Election Monday.

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.

He said his current position in the Chancellor's Office at UNC Pembroke offers 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."

Smith said he is proud to live in Whiteville and is optimistic about the future. He plans to focus on job creation, parks and recreation and cultural opportunities. He says he will stay committed to the city's core responsibility of providing public safety and infrastructure.

Smith is registered as unaffiliated and said he is eager to work with everyone for the betterment of Whiteville.

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

Smith graduated from Whiteville High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from UNC Chapel Hill. He also has a masters degree in public administration from UNC Wilmington. Smith 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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