By CHANTELLE DEROSE
Recorder News Staff
Following an official campaign announcement in November, Jeffery T. Smith has set his sights on running for the position of Montgomery County sheriff.
A Meet the Candidate event with Smith will be held Feb. 22 at the Century Club in Amsterdam from 6 to 9 p.m. It will be the second major fundraiser Smith and his team have organized together.
“It’s basically just kind of an open house meet and greet. It’s an opportunity for people to come and ask questions. I’ll speak — shortly — so that I don’t bore people too long,” Smith said. “But that three hour period is just come and go, ask me questions, talk about my ideas for the office, and it’s doubling as a fundraiser for the campaign.”
Smith said he is hopeful that his second fundraiser will be as successful as his first.
“We had a golf tournament back in September, prior to the official announcement. That went very well,” Smith said. “We were ecstatic. We filled the entire course — maxed out at the Canajoharie Country Club. We couldn’t fit anybody else. Hopefully we’ll have a large crowd on the 22nd as well. Any time you run a campaign, there’s costs. It can be expensive.”
The Century Club will not require the public to RSVP, Smith said, meaning that members of the community can stop in and out as they wish.
“Right now I’m just doing as much as I possibly can to meet and greet people,” Smith said.
He noted that he has knocked on a few doors at this point and plans to continue doing so as the weather becomes warmer.
“I have gone to some doors. It hasn’t been methodical yet, which it will be,” Smith said. “I have knocked on, I would guess, maybe 30 to 50 resident doors roughly. They were specific ones that I wanted to reach out to early on in the campaign. As soon as the weather breaks a little bit and we get more into it, I’m going to methodically go to every door. I’m going to try to hit every door I possibly can.”
Smith, who is the director of Emergency Management for the county and has several years of experience in law enforcement, is currently running unopposed in the race for sheriff.
“Technically I’m the only candidate right now,” Smith said. “I want to make sure it either stays that way or — if there is an opponent — that people think I’m the best one. That’s what I believe and that’s what my team believes. That’s just because we’ve worked so hard and we’ve got so much experience.”
Smith said his campaign goal is helping people realize that “it’s time for a change at the top of the sheriff’s office.”
“We just think we can do a better job at bridging that gap between the sheriff’s office and the public,” Smith said. “It’s really about introducing myself, talking about my ideas, getting the message out and hopefully encouraging people to support me.”