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Ron Smith throws hat in his ring for District 74 seat

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By The Staff

SANTA CLAUS – Ron Smith has joined two other county residents, John Bowen and Tony Lee, in the contest to serve out the remainder of Republican State Representative Lloyd Arnold, who has been appointed as Director of Law Enforcement for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Smith, owner of Smith Homes, is no stranger to public office. He served for 16 years on the Santa Claus Town Council, and he expressed pride in how much progress the town had made during his time on the board.

Smith noted that during his tenure the community saw many infrastructure improvements, including new sewer and water plants and related infrastructure, a new water-well field as well as a new fire station. He also saw the early stages of the ongoing trail projects begin during his last years on the board. Smith was proud to note that when he left the town had money in the bank and was otherwise on a sound financial footing, even as it continues to add new residents today.

In his more than 40 years of work building, buying and selling homes, Smith has helped oversee some around 90 new homes in Christmas Lake Village alone, and has performed a great deal of work in surrounding counties as well. Smith’s work in this industry has underscored his view that in order for a community to grow, affordable housing must be readily available for working individuals. He noted that many businesses and industries in the area are in dire need of skilled labor, and one bottleneck the community faces is a lack of housing that might discourage such workers from settling in the area.

If chosen to serve, expanding affordable housing for a reliable workforce will be one of his major goals in office. A caucus will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6 at Perry Central High School in Leopold to determine who will fill the seat.