November 6, 2018
Uptown attorney Brandon Smith fulfilled a lifelong goal on Tuesday, ascending to Greenwood’s highest office with a commanding victory for the political newcomer.
Smith, 39, entered the race in March and quickly went about building name recognition and laying out a vision for the city that includes enhanced recreational opportunities, more public safety initiatives and continued beautification efforts.
He bested Annette Edwards 57.6 percent to 41.9 percent with all precincts reporting. He spent the evening celebrating with supporters at Howard’s on Main.
“I hope people saw me everywhere before I announced my campaign. I have no regrets one way or the other. I’m going to sleep well tonight,” Smith said.
Smith and his wife Tara have three boys: Jarratt, 12, Witt, 9, and Benjo, 6. They attend Main Street United Methodist Church. He’s also active in several local and state organizations, including the Arts Center of Greenwood, the United Way of Abbeville and Greenwood Counties, Greenwood Kiwanis Club and the Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce.
Smith moved to Greenwood from Arkansas in the mid-1980s when his father, Dewitt H. Smith III joined the Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick.
For Smith, who said he was drawn to the office because of its nonpartisanship, the victory fulfilled a childhood dream. In the fifth grade, he wrote an essay about his aspirations to one day serve as Greenwood’s top elected official.
“There’s a part of you that files that dream in a different part of your brain and puts it away for a while, but it is exciting. It’s almost like déjà vu when it actually happens,” Smith said.
Smith ran unopposed for five months, until community activist Annette Edwards filed for the mayor’s job on Aug. 15 — just hours before the deadline lapsed to run for local office.
Smith said he appreciated the concerns she raised about the city, and hopes to work with her over the course of his administration.
“I’d like to thank her for pushing me to see what I can do, and I look forward to working with her in any capacity to do what’s best for Greenwood,” Smith said.
Smith plans to huddle with department heads and learn what their priorities are.
“I don’t have a degree in criminal, I’ve not been to the fire academy,” he said. “But I want to ask them what the city of Greenwood can do so they can do their jobs as best they can.”
Edwards did not return a call seeking comment as of midnight Tuesday.
Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650 or on Twitter @ABensonIJ.