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Staff photo / District 3 Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin looks on during a county commission meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Chattanooga.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin, R-Hixson, will run for the Tennessee House seat left vacant by former Rep. Robin Smith, another Hixson Republican.

"Over the past 10 years of public service, I've learned many things which will help me represent the voters of House District 26, such as balancing a budget, making hard decisions about competing priorities and working towards one goal — what is best for the people I represent," Martin said in a Tuesday statement. "There is no higher calling than to represent and serve the public. The voters who have elected me three times know they can trust me to vote our conservative values."

(READ MORE: Replacement for former Tennessee Rep. Robin Smith to be appointed by end of month)

Martin will seek to be appointed to the seat on March 30 by his colleagues on the county commission. The interim appointee will serve until the results of the Nov. 8 general election are certified.

Martin in his statement said he will also be a candidate for the Aug. 4 primary election as well to serve a full term.

Martin said that if appointed by commissioners on March 30, he would resign as a commissioner once sworn in.

(READ MORE: Former Tennessee Rep. Robin Smith pleads guilty to fraud)

Applicants to fill Smith's seat have until Friday to send a letter to the commission's office at 625 Georgia Ave. #401.

Commissioners will have the opportunity to interview applicants between the application deadline and vote.

Smith resigned last week amid charges from a federal wire fraud investigation of a political consulting firm tied to former state House Speaker Glen Casada, who remains a House member, and Casada's former chief of staff, Cade Cothren.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County Commission will be responsible for replacing former state Rep. Robin Smith)

Last week, Smith pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a single charge of honest services wire fraud in what federal prosecutors described as a kickback scheme involving the use of taxpayer-funded constituent mail.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17, leaving time for her to cooperate in the ongoing federal investigation. Smith could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Contact Logan Hullinger at lhullinger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.

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