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District 1 Commission seat open

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Bedford County commissioners will have up to four – or more – choices when selecting a member to fill the remaining term of Brent Smith’s District 1 seat. 

Smith resigned earlier this month from the Bell Buckle-area seat when he moved near Wartrace. 

Smith told several commissioners his replacement choice is Eric Maddox of Bell Buckle. 

Maddox introduced himself at Tuesday’s meeting of the commission’s Rules and Legislative Committee. 

“I’m happily married to my bride of almost 27 years. We live on a farm on Coop Road – Judge Eblen’s old place. That’s where we’ve called home for the past 6 ½ years,” Maddox said. 

Maddox, originally from Hazel Green, Ala., said he moved to Nashville to attend college, and he and his wife lived there until moving to Coop Road. 

“I’m probably what some may call a self-made individual from the aspect that I grew up extremely poor, sometimes without water, electricity and food. But, that gave me the drive to get to where I am today. My wife and I have made a happy and successful life through God’s mercy and grace. That’s why I’m here today, and I’m thankful for it. I am a conservative Christian and those values are ones I uphold daily.” 

Maddox said he likes to help others as a result of his childhood, recently by coaching the Shelbyville Crushers youth baseball team. The Crushers won the state championship this season. He’s involved in church activities and, with his sons, performs bluegrass-gospel music. His children are homeschooled, he said, and all of his sons play sports, one at Community High School. 

Smith was a neighbor of Maddox until the recent move. “I believe he knew that I am a community minded individual with high integrity and thus the reason for being nominated,” Maddox said. I have shared with him a great deal about my commitments to the city, my church, baseball in the past and I am sure that’s where the nomination stemmed from.” 

Longtime District 1 commissioner Bobby Fox of Bell Buckle has said he’d like to take that seat until the next election, Commissioner Don Gallagher said. 

Fox offers two advantages, Gallagher said: He already fully knows how the commission operates and has said he has no interest in running for a full term. Maddox said at one point during his introduction he wasn’t fully aware of some aspects of commission activities. 

Gallagher said he was nominating Fox as a candidate, but committee members differed on if anyone could actually be nominated Tuesday. The commission’s rules specify replacement commissioners must be verbally nominated at the actual full commission meeting where candidates are being chosen, rather than in advance at a committee meeting, Commissioner Linda Yockey said. 

The next commission meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 12. 

Attorney Kristin B. Brown of Bell Buckle and former Wartrace fire chief Robert Dye have also expressed interest in the seat, commissioners said. Committee chair P.T. “Biff” Farrar said anyone else interested in being considered for the seat needs to contact a commissioner as soon as possible. 

Each candidate must be “sponsored” by a sitting commissioner, who doesn’t have to be from the hopeful’s district.  

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