Jeff Smith (Wisconsin politician)

Jeffrey E. Smith (born March 15, 1955) is an American politician and member of the Wisconsin State Senate. A member of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, he represents District 31, which stretches from Eau Claire to Prescott to Black River Falls.

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith Speaking at Candidate forum.jpg
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 31st district
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
Preceded byKathleen Vinehout
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 93rd district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byRobin Kreibich
Succeeded byWarren Petryk
Personal details
Born (1955-03-15) March 15, 1955 (age 67)
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan
Children2
Residence(s)Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Alma materNorth High School
OccupationFormer small business owner

Early lifeEdit

Smith graduated from North High School in Eau Claire in 1973 and then took up his father's window-cleaning company, which he ran until he sold it in 2011.[1]

Political careerEdit

Smith served on the town board for the Town of Brunswick and was chair of the board. He founded the Parent Advisory Committee for the Eau Claire School District. Because of that work, he was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle to serve on the Task Force on Educational Excellence in 2003.[2] Smith also served as the co-chair of the Eau Claire County Democratic Party.[3] He is a member of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.[4]

Smith was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2006, unseating the Republican incumbent Robin Kreibich.[5] He was the chair of the Elections and Campaign Reform Committee and a member of five other committees: Colleges and Universities, Financial Institutions, Education, Renewable Energy and Rural Affairs, and Public Safety.[5]

Smith sponsored Assembly Bill 119, which established five-year-old Kindergarten as a prerequisite to first grade in public and charter schools; Assembly Bill 250, which created licensing requirements for dog sellers and animal shelters, and Assembly Bill 276, which divided the UW System Board of Regents into seven geographical districts.[6]

Based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionnaire sent to all Congressional candidates in 2008, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund assigned Smith a grade of C (with grades ranging from a high of A+ to a low of F). Based on a point system, with points assigned for actions in support of or in opposition to the AFL-CIO, Smith received a rating of 100. NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin gave Smith a rating of one-hundred percent on abortion-related issues.[7] In 2010, Smith earned a 100% rating from the Wisconsin League of Conservation voters.[8]

In February 2010, Smith received a Humane State Legislator award from The Humane Society of the United States, which recognized him for his efforts to pass The Dog Breeders Licensure Bill, which regulates large-scale puppy breeding operations, commonly referred to as "puppy mills."[9]

Democratic party chair candidacyEdit

In 2015, Smith was a candidate for chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW), facing Jason Rae, Martha Laning, Joe Wineke, and Stephen Smith. If elected DPW Chair, Smith said he’d make it a priority to engage county parties and empower them to be more proactive.

During the campaign, Smith's campaign penned a letter that criticized Laning for her lack of experience and offered her the post of DPW Executive Director if Smith were to be elected chair.[10] Laning publicly stated that she had refused Smith’s offer and criticized Smith for mentioning the offer in campaign literature.[11] Shortly after the letter controversy, Smith wrote an open letter dropping out of the race and asking his supporters to support Laning.[12]

Electoral historyEdit

Wisconsin Assembly (2006–2014)Edit

Year Election Date Elected Defeated Total Plurality
2004 Primary[13] September 14 Jeff Smith Democratic 1,617 55.51% Howard White Dem. 1,292 44.35% 2,913 325
General[14] November 2 Robin Kreibich (inc.) Republican 16,997 52.23% Jeff Smith Dem. 15,501 47.63% 32,543 1,496
2006 Primary[15] September 12 Jeff Smith Democratic 2,677 50.40% Judy Reas Dem. 2,635 49.60% 5,312 42
General[16] November 7 Jeff Smith Democratic 11,872 50.62% Robin Kreibich (inc.) Rep. 11,565 49.31% 23,452 307
2008 General[17] November 4 Jeff Smith (inc.) Democratic 19,276 59.35% Darcy Fields Rep. 13,161 40.52% 32,479 6,115
2010 General[18] November 2 Warren Petryk Republican 11,080 50.12% Jeff Smith (inc.) Dem. 11,006 49.79% 22,105 74
2012 General[19] November 6 Warren Petryk (inc.) Republican 15,612 50.78% Jeff Smith Dem. 15,114 49.16% 30,742 498
2014 General[20] November 4 Warren Petryk (inc.) Republican 13,367 55.40% Jeff Smith Dem. 10,749 44.55% 24,130 2,618

Wisconsin Senate (2018)Edit

Wisconsin Senate, 31st District Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Primary, August 14, 2018[21]
Democratic Jeff Smith 8,643 49.94%
Democratic Steve Boe 4,503 26.02%
Democratic Jon W. Schultz 4,151 23.98%
Scattering 10 0.06%
Total votes 17,307 100.0%
General Election, November 6, 2018[22]
Democratic Jeff Smith 40,073 51.67% -0.66%
Republican Mel Pittman 35,684 46.01% -1.61%
Green Aaron Elaine Camacho 1,776 2.29%
Scattering 28 0.04%
Plurality 4,389 5.66% +0.96%
Total votes 77,561 100.0% +14.29%
Democratic hold

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Senator Jeff Smith Biography". Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Wispolitics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  3. ^ "Jeffrey Smith's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Individual Members". Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (comp.). State of Wisconsin 2009-2010 Blue Book. Madison: Joint Committee on Legislative Organization, 2009, p. 81.
  6. ^ "Smith, Sen. Jeff (31st Sen.Dist.; D)". Wisconsin State Legislature. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  7. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=51946
  8. ^ "League of Conservation Voters Scorecard 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  9. ^ "Rep. Jeff Smith Receives Humane Legislator Award". WQOW. 25 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2016-02-26. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  10. ^ https://us10.campaign-archive.com/?u=a1cad923c938cf6db2dfe7cfe&id=d30a2508fe[bare URL plain text file]
  11. ^ Laning, Martha. "An Important Clarification". Martha Laning Democratic Party Chair.
  12. ^ Kissinger, Meg (4 June 2015). "Jeff Smith drops out of race for Dem Party chairmanship". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  13. ^ Results of Fall Primary Election - 09/14/2004 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin State Elections Board. November 10, 2004. p. 75. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  14. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/02/2004 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin State Elections Board. December 1, 2004. p. 43. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  15. ^ Results of Fall Primary Election - 09/12/2006 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin State Elections Board. October 17, 2006. p. 68. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  16. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/07/2006 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin State Elections Board. December 5, 2006. p. 42. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  17. ^ Results of Fall General Election - 11/04/2008 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin State Elections Board. December 1, 2008. p. 41. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  18. ^ Official summary results of the November 2, 2010 General Election (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. December 1, 2010. p. 32. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  19. ^ Canvass Results for 2012 Presidential and General Election - 11/6/2012 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. December 26, 2012. pp. 30–31. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  20. ^ Canvass Results for 2014 General Election - 11/4/2014 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. November 26, 2014. pp. 29–30. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  21. ^ Canvass Results for 2018 Partisan Primary - 8/14/2018 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. August 31, 2018. p. 28. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  22. ^ Canvass Results for 2018 General Election - 11/6/2018 (PDF) (Report). Wisconsin Elections Commission. February 22, 2019. p. 9. Retrieved October 20, 2020.

External linksEdit

Wisconsin State Assembly
Preceded by Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 93rd district
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Succeeded by
Wisconsin Senate
Preceded by Member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 31st district
January 7, 2019 – present
Incumbent