At a Glance
- Career History: <a title="People/US States/Nebraska" href="mks://localhost/People/US_States/Nebraska">Nebraska</a> Senator (1998-2006); Real-Estate Agent and Marketing Specialist, Buyer's Realty (1997-2006); Gering City Councilman (1994-1998); Staff Development Project Manager, Educational Service Unit 13, (1994-1997)
- Birthday: December. 19, 1970
- Hometown: Gering, Nebraska
- Alma Mater: B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1993
- Spouse: Single
- Religion: Evangelical
- Committees: House Ways and Means
- DC Office: 503 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, 202-225-6435
- State Office: 416 Valley View Drive, Suite 600, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, 308-633-6333
Path to Power
Smith was born into a family active in Nebraska's Republican Party. While attending the University of Nebraska, he interned for state Sen. Joyce Hilman and Gov. Ben Nelson, both Democrats. After graduating with a degree in marketing education in 1993, he was elected to the Gering City Council. He also started working as a real-estate agent.
In 1998, he challenged Hillman for her legislative seat. While Nebraska's legislative races are officialy non-partisan, Smith positioned himself as a strong conservative and he attacked Hillman for supporting abortion rights and neglecting agricaltural interests.He won by 10 percentage points, thus becoming a state senator at the age of 28.
According to the Environmental Working Group, farmers in Smith's 3rd Nebraska district received more in government crop subsidies from 2003 to 2005 than those in any other House district.
A supporter of farm subsidies, Smith backed efforts to pass the 2008 farm bill. He was one of just 18 House Republicans to support the initial version crafted by House Democrats; he later voted to overturn President Bush's veto of the bill's final version. During the debate, Smith supported implementing a mechanism for drought relief and he pushed for an amendment that expanded research on the uses of ethanol byproducts.
Smith is a member of GOP Rural Affairs Task Force founded by Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.).