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Smoak to run for city council

Posted: June 14, 2016 9:14 a.m.
Updated: June 14, 2016 1:00 a.m.
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Stephen Smoak

Former Kershaw County Councilman Stephen Smoak is hitting the campaign trail again, this time as a candidate for Camden City Council.

Smoak said if elected he hopes to continue to be a part of the progress and momentum the city has experienced in recent years.

“I am excited about the momentum we have in Camden right now,” Smoak said.  “ There are a lot of positive things going on. I hope to continue to be a part of the progress that has been made in recent years.”

Smoak, who served on Kershaw County Council for eight years, said he had not planned to run for elected office, at least not at this stage of his life.

“I really did not intend to re-enter the public arena at this point, but some friends in the community suggested it,” Smoak said. “So after prayer and discussion with my family, I agreed to seek elected office again.”

Smoak was twice elected to Kershaw County Council representing the 5th District (Camden area) from 2006-2014. He served as vice-chairman of council during his final two years on council. In addition to serving on county council, Smoak was formerly a board member for the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments where he was Chairman of the Workforce Committee.

Smoak said he is pleased with the increased cooperation and communication between local government bodies in recent years and wants to continue to foster those good relations.

“We have come a long way in terms of cooperation between local governmental entities and other public bodies,” Smoak said.  “I feel I can further assist in this effort because of my previous service in county

government. The taxpayers are pulled in a lot of different directions, and we have to be careful that services do not overlap and cause an unnecessary burden.”

In addition to his public service, Smoak has served as a board member for a number of charitable and civic organizations in Kershaw County. He is currently vice chairman of Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County.  In addition he is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Camden and a past president of the Kershaw County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Heritage Community Bank.

A Camden native, Smoak attended the local public schools graduating from Camden High School in 1992. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Furman University, Smoak attended the University of South Carolina School of Law. He joined the law firm of Savage, Royall & Sheheen in Camden where he became a partner in 2003. 

He and his wife, Crystal, have four children and all the family members are active members of First Baptist Church in Camden.

Smoak said he wants to continue to work to help Camden grow without impacting the quality of life.

“The challenge in Camden has always been to promote growth in a way that does not compromise the unique character of our town,” Smoak said.  “It is essential to understand that we can have both as long as we are careful and properly plan for the future.”

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