Jason Smith (politician)

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Jason Smith
Congressman Jason T. Smith.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 8th district
Assumed office
June 4, 2013
Preceded by Jo Ann Emerson
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 120th district
In office
January 9, 2013 – June 4, 2013
Preceded by Scott Largent
Succeeded by Shawn Sisco
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 150th district
In office
January 4, 2006 – January 9, 2013
Preceded by Frank Barnitz
Succeeded by Kent Hampton
Personal details
Born Jason Thomas Smith[1]
(1980-06-16) June 16, 1980 (age 38)
Salem, Missouri
Political party Republican
Residence Salem, Missouri
Alma mater University of Missouri
Oklahoma City University School of Law
Profession Attorney
Real estate agent
Religion Assemblies of God

Jason Thomas Smith (born June 16, 1980) is an American politician. He is currently a member of the United States House of Representatives for Missouri's 8th congressional district after winning a special election on June 4, 2013. The district comprises 30 counties, covering just under 20,000 square miles of southeastern and southern Missouri. He is currently the second-youngest Republican member of Congress, with only Representative Elise Stefanik of New York being younger.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Smith served four terms representing the 150th district in the Missouri House of Representatives and one term serving the 120th district following redisctricting in 2012. Smith served as the Majority Whip during the 96th Missouri General Assembly[2] and then as the Speaker Pro Tem during the 97th Missouri General Assembly.

Early life, education, and business career

Jason Smith was born in St. Louis, Missouri and nine days later went home with his family to Salem, Missouri. He is the son of Mary, a factory worker, and Bill, a minister and auto mechanic. During his early years, he worked on his grandfather's farm in Salem and developed a passion for agriculture. Smith often speaks of growing up working the farm, on which his grandparents did not have running water. Smith relates his humble beginnings and watching his parents deal with the government as small business owners to his views.

Smith attended Kindergarten through 12th grade at Salem Public Schools. He was a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Future Business Leaders of America, French Club, Student Council, and was especially involved in the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Smith received the American FFA degree, which is the highest degree that can be achieved and is awarded to members who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to FFA and make significant accomplishments in their supervised agriculture experiences. Only approximately 3,500 American FFA degrees are awarded each year out of the approximately 610,240 FFA members nationwide.[3] Additionally, Smith served as the FFA Chapter President his senior year and was the regional area FFA Vice President. Smith graduated from high school in 1998.

At age 20, Smith earned two degrees from the University of Missouri; a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Smith even took 27 credit hours in one semester, while also holding a part-time job in the sporting goods department at Walmart, to ensure graduating in three years. Less than one week after graduating from the University of Missouri in 2001, he began law school at Oklahoma City University. Smith attributes his fast track through college and law school to knowing exactly what he wanted to do and that it needed to be done right away. While attending law school, Smith served as the Senator representing the law school in the Student Senate, the Vice President of the entire law school, and class secretary. Also while in law school, Smith became a licensed real estate agent and formed his own small business specializing in property investment and development. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 2004 and returned to Missouri to take the bar exam. Additionally, Smith is one of the only members of Congress that is still paying off student loans from college.

After passing the Missouri Bar in 2004, he returned home to Salem to practice law at a local law firm in Cuba, Missouri, continue to run his small business and run the family farm he purchased while in law school, which he continues to operate today. The farm, located just outside Salem, Missouri, has been in Smith's family for four generations.

Smith is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He attends Grace Community Church in Salem, an Assemblies of God Church. He previously was a board member of the Missouri Community Betterment Association, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and past president of the Salem FFA Association.

Missouri House of Representatives

Elections

Following the resignation of the incumbent State Representative Frank Barnitz, Smith ran for Missouri's 150th house district, which covered portions of Dent, Phelps, Crawford, and Reynolds counties. Smith defeated Democrat challenger Bobby Simpson 54%–44%.[4][5] At the age of 25, Smith just barely made the constitutional requirements to be a state representative and became the youngest member of the Missouri House of Representatives. Additionally, Smith won one of his counties, Crawford, by just one single vote. Smith uses this experience to explain the importance of voting and to debunk the statement often made that someone's vote does not matter. He points to his one-vote victory in 2005 to show people of all ages that one vote in fact matters very much. During his first year in office, Smith served as Majority Assistant Deputy Whip[6] and served on the Agriculture Policy Committee, Appropriations—Education Committee, and the Judiciary Committee.[6]

Only one year after being elected to the house in a special election, Smith defeated Democrat Jim O'Donnell 64%–32%.[7][8] In his first full term, Smith served as the Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development[9]

In his third election in just three years, Smith received 70% of the vote, defeating Democrat James D. Ellis in 2008 to secure his second full term in the house.[10][11]

In November 2010, Smith was unopposed in his re-election campaign to his fourth full term to the Missouri Legislature.[12][13] Following his election, Smith was elected by his peers to serve as one of the youngest Majority Whips to serve in the Missouri House.[14]

Following his successful 2010 election, Smith was once again unnopposed in his final election to the state house in 2012.[15] Upon the start of the 97th General Assembly in 2013, Smith was elected by his peers to serve as Speaker Pro-Tem of the Missouri State House of Representatives.[16] He became one of the youngest members to ever hold the position in the state of Missouri, which is viewed as the second-highest member in the house.

U.S. House of Representatives

2013 congressional election

Smith ran for the vacant 8th congressional district of Missouri seat after Republican incumbent Jo Ann Emerson resigned. Congresswoman Emerson left her elected position in order to accept the presidency of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Per Missouri statute, Smith was selected by the 8th District Republican Central Committee to be the Republican candidate in the June special election. The selection process—which began with 27 candidates and narrowed to 13 on nomination-day—lasted six total rounds before Smith was the last one standing as the Republican nominee on February 9, 2013. Some of the other candidates included State Representative Todd Richardson, former State Treasurer of Missouri and U.S. Representative Wendell Bailey, former State Senator Jason Crowell, Lieutenant Governor of Missouri Peter Kinder, former State Treasurer of Missouri Sarah Steelman, State Representative Clint Tracy, and State Senator Wayne Wallingford.

In the June special election, Smith was challenged by Democrat State Representative Steve Hodges, businessman Doug Enyart of the Constitution Party, and Libertarian Bill Slantz. He was declared the winner of the special election on June 4, 2013, collecting 67.1% of the vote (42,145) to Hodges' 27.4% (17,203).[17] The election marked the 47th consecutive Missouri U.S. House race in which Democrats failed to pick up a Republican-held seat dating back to 1994 – the second longest Democratic pick-up drought in the nation.[18]

2013 Missouri 8th congressional district special election[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jason Smith 42,145 67.1
Democratic Steve Hodges 17,203 27.4
Constitution Doug Enyart 2,265 3.6
Libertarian Bill Slantz 968 1.5

2014 congressional election

After an unopposed primary election on August 5, 2014[20] and just 17 months following the special election, Smith was up for his first re-election on November 4, 2014. He was challenged by Democrat Barbara Stocker, Libertarian Rick Vandeven, Constitution Party's Doug Enyart, and Independent Party's Terry Hampton. Smith won with 67% of the vote, while Stocker collected 24%, Hampton 4%, and Vandevan and Enyart with 2% each. Smith won all 30 counties in the 8th District.[20]

2014 Missouri 8th congressional district general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jason Smith 106,124 66.7
Democratic Barbara Stocker 38,721 24.3
Constitution Doug Enyart 3,799 2.4
Libertarian Rick Vandevan 3,759 2.4
Independent Terry Hampton 6,821 4.3

Committee assignments

References

  1. "Lawyer Jason Smith – Salem, MO Attorney – Avvo.com". avvo.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Representative Jason Smith". mo.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "American FFA Degree".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Our Campaigns – MO State House 150 – Special Election Race – Nov 08, 2005". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "SOS, Missouri – Elections: Special Election – November 8, 2005 – District 150, Missouri House of Representatives". mo.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Missouri House of Representatives". www.house.mo.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Our Campaigns – MO State House 150 Race – Nov 07, 2006". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "November 2006 General Election". vote-mo.org. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Missouri House of Representatives". www.house.mo.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Our Campaigns – MO State House 150 Race – Nov 04, 2008". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/allresults.asp?eid=256
  12. http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/raceresults.asp?eid=300&oid=67699&arc=
  13. "Our Campaigns – MO State House 150 Race – Nov 02, 2010". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Missouri House of Representatives". www.house.mo.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Our Campaigns - MO State House 120 Race - Nov 06, 2012". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Our Campaigns - MO State House Speaker Pro Tem Race - Jan 09, 2013". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "SOS, Missouri - Elections: Special Election - June 4, 2013 – US Congress, District 8". www.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Ostermeier, Eric (June 5, 2013). "Missouri Democratic US House Pick-Up Drought Extends to 47". Smart Politics.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "2013 Missouri House 8th District Special Election". Politico June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. 20.0 20.1 "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". enrarchives.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jo Ann Emerson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 8th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Robin Kelly
D-Illinois
United States Representatives by seniority
367th
Succeeded by
Katherine Clark
D-Massachusetts