James C. Smith
|James C. Smith|
|21st & 24th Florida Secretary of State|
|Preceded by||Katherine Harris|
|Succeeded by||Ken Detzner|
|Preceded by||George Firestone|
|Succeeded by||Sandra Mortham|
|32nd Attorney General of Florida|
|Preceded by||Robert Shevin|
|Succeeded by||Bob Butterworth|
May 25, 1940 |
|Political party||Democratic (before 1987)
Republican (after 1987)
James Cloudis Smith (born May 25, 1940) is an American lawyer. He has served as Florida Attorney General and Florida Secretary of State, and is the Chairman of the Florida State University Board of Trustees.
Smith received his B.S. degree in Government and Public Administration from Florida State University in 1962, and while in college he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. In addition he received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 1967. Also he served in the U.S. Army Reserves and earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
Smith started out as a Democrat in his political career. He became Florida Attorney General in 1979, succeeding Robert Shevin, and he would go on to serve in this capacity until 1987. In 1986, he ran for Governor, but narrowly lost the Democratic runoff to liberal state Representative Steve Pajcic. Later he would become a Republican and be appointed Florida Secretary of State in 1987. He was the first Republican to serve on the State Cabinet since Reconstruction and during the Florida state elections of 1988, he and Tom Gallagher became the first Republicans to be elected to the State Cabinet since Reconstruction. He served as Secretary of State until 1995. He ran for Governor in 1994, but lost the primary to Jeb Bush.
After he completed his term as the Florida Secretary of State, he would go into private practice in Tallahassee, Florida. He is currently a shareholder for Smith & Ballard and serves as Chairman of the Board at Florida State.
He later served as Secretary of State of Florida again from 2002 till 2003.
When it was announced that U.S. Senator Mel Martinez would resign from the Senate during the August 2009 recess, there was widespread speculation that Smith would be appointed to replace him, with the expectation that Smith would be a caretaker who would not seek reelection to a full term .