Adrian M. Smith (born December 19, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the Nebraska Legislature.
Early life, education and career
Smith was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and at a young age his family moved to a rural neighborhood south of Gering, Nebraska. After graduating from Gering High School in 1989, Smith attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
He transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln midway through his second year of college, graduating in 1993. While a student at Nebraska, he interned in the Nebraska Governor’s Office and, later, served as a legislative page in the Nebraska Unicameral. He returned home to Gering after college, and, in 1994, he began serving as a member of the Gering City Council. Smith continues to live in Gering, Nebraska.
Smith has also worked in the private sector. He has been a realtor as well as a marketing specialist for the housing industry.
He was elected to the Nebraska legislature in 1998, representing the 48th legislative district, and reelected in 2002.
He sat on the Natural Resources and Building Maintenance committees and was the vice chairperson of the Transportation and Telecommunications committee. Smith served as Vice Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and as Chairman of the Four State Legislative Conference in 2001.
Since Nebraska voters passed Initiative Measure 415 in 2001 limiting state senators to two terms after 2001, he was unable to run for reelection.
Smith ran for the open seat in the 3rd District in the 2006 House elections. Three-term incumbent Tom Osborne gave up the seat to make an unsuccessful run for governor.
Smith won the Republican primary with 39% of the vote in a field of five candidates. He faced Democrat Scott Kleeb, a ranch hand and Yale graduate, in the general election.
Approximately one-third of the funding of his campaign came from members of the Club for Growth, an economic conservative group that supports tax cuts, limited government, school choice, and advocates eliminating all agricultural subsidies and the elimination of the US Department of Agriculture.
For a time, Smith was presumed to be a prohibitive favorite in this overwhelmingly Republican district. The 3rd is one of the most Republican districts in the nation; presidential and statewide candidates routinely win it with 70 percent or more of the vote. 2), two time zones, and 68.5 of Nebraska’s 93 counties (one of which, Cherry County, is larger than the entire state of Connecticut). However, Kleeb raised more money than any Democrat had raised in the district in decades. Overall, the race was the most expensive in the district since it assumed its current configuration in 1963.
The 3rd is extremely difficult to campaign in and has few unifying influences. It covers nearly 65,000 square miles (170,000 km
As the race become more competitive than expected, it received late national attention from the House campaign committees.
President George W. Bush also made an appearance in the district two days before the election to campaign for Smith—a sign that the national party was very concerned about its chances in what had long been presumed to be a very safe Republican seat.
In the end, Smith won by 10 percentage points, taking 55 percent of the vote to Kleeb's 45 percent.
This was the closest a Democrat had come to winning the district in 16 years; in 1990, Republican Bill Barrett only defeated fellow Unicameral member Sandra Scofield by 4,400 votes. Besides Bush's visit two days before the election, Smith likely rode the coattails of Governor Dave Heineman, who won many of the counties in the district by margins of 80 percent or more of the vote in his bid for a full term.
Smith was re-elected in 2008 with 77 percent of the vote against Democrat Jay Stoddard.
Smith was re-elected in 2010 with 70 percent of the vote against Democrat Rebekah Davis and Independent Dan Hill.
December 11th, 2011