Harri Anne Smith
|Harri Anne Smith|
|Member of the Alabama Senate
from the 29th district
|Political party||Republican (1998–2010)
Harri Anne Smith is an independent member of the Alabama Senate, representing the 29th District since 1998. She has been elected to three terms in the State Senate and is also a former mayor of her hometown of Slocomb, in the Wiregrass region.
Early life, education, and early political career
Smith graduated from Slocomb High School. She has a B.A. in Business Administration from Troy State University. She was Executive Vice President of Friend Bank. She was a member of the Board of Directors and served as president of Slocomb National Bank.
She started her political career in 1989 as an appointed member of the Slocomb City Council. She was then elected to the Slocomb city council (non-partisan) and elected mayor in 1996.
In 1998, she challenged Republican State Senator Chip Bailey of Alabama's 29th senate district. She defeated him in the primary 47%-44%. In November, she defeated Democrat nominee Mac Palmer 61%-39%.
Smith ran in the Republican primary for Alabama's 2nd congressional district in 2008, losing to State Representative Jay Love. Afterwards, she endorsed the Democratic nominee, Bobby Bright—a decision which nearly got her expelled from the Geneva County Republican Executive Committee.
The Republican Party of Alabama barred her from running for reelection to her state senate seat as a Republican in 2010; her endorsement of Bright violated a state party bylaw which bars an elected Republican from endorsing a candidate from another party when a Republican is running. However, in June she garnered enough signatures in her district to run as an independent. A month before the election, she was indicted on federal charges of bribery and corruption. Nonetheless, she won re-election to a fourth term, defeating Republican challenger George Flowers 55%-45%. Smith was found not guilty and was acquitted of all charges in March 2012. However, the person who pleaded guilty to bribing her is still serving time in federal prison.
- Commerce, Transportation, and Utilities
- Confirmations (Vice Chair)
- Local Legislation Number 1
- Tourism and Marketing
- Veterans and Military Affairs
Her husband, Charlie Smith, is a native of Geneva County, Alabama and serves as a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. Harri Anne and Charlie live in Slocomb, where they are members of the First Baptist Church.
- "Senator Harri Anne Smith's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- WTVY-Dothan, AL "Geneva County GOP Group Decides on Senator Smith's Membership"
- Grace, Lila. Senator Harri Anne Smith Approved To Run As Independent. WDHN, 2010-06-16.
- 11 charged in Alabama federal corruption case. CNN, 2010-10-04.
- Griffin, Lance. Smith goes back in as independent in Senate 29. The Dothan Eagle, 2010-11-02.
- Alabama State Legislature - Senator Harri Anne Smith official government website
- Project Vote Smart - Senator Harri Anne Smith (AL) profile
- Follow the Money - Harri Anne Smith
- News Release On Senator Smith's Bright Endorsement from the ALGOP