Covington Councilman Rick Smith jumps into 2019 mayor’s race, hopes to lock in 'early support' _lowres

Covington Councilman Rick Smith has announced he will run for mayor in 2019.

The ring that is the 2019 Covington mayor’s race is barely visible in the hazy future, but one candidate already has thrown his hat into it.

City Councilman Rick Smith announced Tuesday that he intends to seek the seat currently occupied by Mayor Mike Cooper, who will be unable to run again because of term limits.

Smith was re-elected to his District E council seat in March 2015.

The 60-year-old Smith said he thought it was important to get his name out there first in what he expects will be a crowded race for mayor.

“I want to lock in early support and let the people of Covington know that I’m ready to serve them in a new capacity after the next election,” he said.

Smith cited his tenure on the council as an era of good working relationships and improvements to Covington’s infrastructure, public safety and the economy.

He said he has contacted 300 supporters to let them know his plans and will hold a kickoff fundraiser in June.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.