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Leaders of Cobb: Derek Norton

Derek Norton with his family

THE STORY: Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I moved to Marietta as a kid and went to Sprayberry High School. Growing up, we often went to visit my grandfather, Jack Skyles,— he was a Korean War veteran and Mayor of Lakeview, Arkansas (pop. 512). He would always take me to city meetings and functions (when we weren’t on the lake fishing) and I loved all of it. He was my hero.

After graduating from the University of Georgia, I went to work for my hometown Congressman, Johnny Isakson. Johnny was and still is the best example of a public servant I’ve ever come across, and I am lucky to have cut my teeth in the political world watching him serve the people of Georgia. After six years working for Johnny, I left for the private sector and have been in government relations for the past 13 years. Currently, I work for the Medical Association of Georgia, representing physicians and patients across the state at the Capitol.

I have lived in Smyrna for the past 15 years, and have been married to the love of my life, Laura, for almost six years. We are blessed with two children: Sam, 4 and Jack, 2. As you might imagine, there is never a dull moment at the Norton household! In 2015, I ran for city council and was elected to represent Ward 1, the eastern portion of the city. I’ve served as Public Safety Committee chair my entire term, and in 2017 Mayor Bacon appointed me Mayor Pro Tem. I love this city, helping its residents, and having a part in shaping what Smyrna will be for future generations.

WHY I CHOSE TO LIVE IN COBB: Smyrna has so much to offer, and so much momentum and potential. I believe this is the best place to live and work in the state. Smyrna’s strength comes from its people, and you won’t find better people anywhere. We have become a destination city, recognized nationally as a great place to live, work, and play. I wouldn’t raise my family anywhere else.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? In both my public service role and my professional role, I’m able to help people and make a difference in their lives. I love that. And when you can truly say you love what you do, then you know you’re doing the right thing.

LEISURE TIME: These days, there isn’t much! Any free time I have is either spent with my family, traveling, or playing poker (and sometimes golf).

BEST ADVICE: Do what you love and put more into it than you expect to get out of it. You’ll usually be pleasantly surprised with the result. And my old boss had good advice that I always share: Never forget that you have friends and future friends, and there’s always another issue.

WHAT’S NEXT? I’m running for mayor of Smyrna, and hope to have the honor and privilege to lead this city and build on the solid foundation that Max Bacon and others have created here.

1000 Afton Way SE Smyrna, GA 30080 • nortonforsmyrna@gmail.comvotenorton.org

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