ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
some text
Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Mayoral candidate Matt Adams speaks during an interview at the Chattanooga Times Free Press office on Monday, July 11, 2022.

As part of a bipartisan effort to hire several top-level Republicans, Democrat Matt Adams has publicly extended an offer to County Commission Chairwoman Sabrena Smedley to serve as a full-time senior adviser in his administration should he win the campaign for Hamilton County mayor on Thursday.

"Commissioner Sabrena Smedley ran a clean, honest and visionary campaign for county mayor this year," Adams told local media during a news conference Tuesday on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse. "Had supporters of my opponent Weston Wamp not unleased waves of negative advertising brimming with misinformation, Sabrena would likely be the Republican nominee, and this race would currently be between two honest, mature candidates who both have the interests of Hamilton County at heart."

Supporters of Wamp criticized Smedley for certain endorsements in radio ads, but Wamp denied involvement in the negative campaigning.

Smedley finished a narrow second place in the Republican primary versus Wamp and unsuccessfully challenged his candidacy, having claimed that crossover voting from Democrats impacted the outcome. She told the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Tuesday that she had an informal phone conversation with Adams on Monday.

some text
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Republican candidate Sabrena Smedley holds up a mask reading "Gigi" during a break at a Hamilton County mayoral debate on April 11, 2022.

Adams told her there may be a role she could play in his administration if he won the election, Smedley said, but there hasn't been a conversation about what form that role would take. Smedley said she did not pursue a job from Adams, has not received a formal offer and has not accepted a position.

"I love Hamiton County," she said by phone. "I've spent my last eight years investing in moving Hamilton County forward. I have an understanding of where we are as a county, of all the great things going on as well as some of the areas where we need to focus on improvement. I have a real understanding of that. So if there is an opportunity for me to continue to help move Hamilton County forward, I would be open to hearing what that might be."

She added that Admas has a campaign to focus on "first and foremost."

Wamp responded in a statement Tuesday afternoon on behalf of himself and his wife, Shelby.

"Shelby and I will be glad when all the drama is over Thursday and we can get to work on real problems facing our county," Wamp said. "First, Sabrena Smedley tried to overturn an election by claiming Democrats voted for me. Now, she wants a job working for a liberal Democrat herself. It's unbelievable, really. I trust the voters of Hamilton County and know they will see through these last-minute antics."

The Hamilton County Republican Party also released a statement Tuesday in response to the press conference.

"If the statements from Democratic nominee Matt Adams are true about current commissioner, and former Republican mayoral candidate, Sabrena Smedley entertaining his invitation to be a 'senior adviser' in his potential administration, they are beyond troubling," said the organization's board of officers. "We call for Commissioner Smedley to confirm or deny these allegations, publicly and release all communications of the job offer from Matt Adams. We trust that she would not legitimize his campaign by agreeing to work in a potential Adams administration. We call for her to put this issue to rest."

Contact David Floyd at dfloyd@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @flavid_doyd.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT