Wayne Smith (Texas politician)

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Wayne Smith
Texas State Representative from District 128 (Harris County)
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 14, 2003
Preceded by Frederick Martin "Fred" Bosse
Personal details
Born (1943-08-17) August 17, 1943 (age 71)
Baytown TX
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Brenda Smith
Children Two children
Residence Baytown, Harris County, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Arlington
Occupation Retired civil engineer and land surveyor
Religion Christian[1]
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Wayne Smith (born August 17, 1943),[2] is a retired civil engineer from Baytown, Texas, a suburb of Houston, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives. Since 2003, he has with little opposition represented District 128 in Harris County.[3]

Background[edit]

Smith's full name and place of birth are unavailable. He is a veteran of the United States Army, in which he served in the Vietnam War and won the Bronze Star, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the National Service Medal.[4]

Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. A retired engineer and land surveyor, he is the former president of Wayne Smith & Associates. In 2007, he received the George Washington Award for Citizen Engineer. Smith is affiliated with the Baytown Chamber of Commerce. A member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, he is a former construction chairman of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. He is a former member of the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority and the Coastal Water Authority.[5][4]

Smith's wife is named Brenda (maiden name not available). He has two children and three grandchildren.[5]

Political life[edit]

When Democrat Representative Frederick Martin "Fred" Bosse (born c. 1947) of Houston declined to seek reelection in 2002 after six terms in the position, Smith and two other Republicans entered the primary to choose a successor. Smith led the field with 1,714 votes (43.9 percent) and was planced in a runoff with the second-place candidate, Tom Butler, who polled 1,592 votes (40.7 percent). The remaining 601 votes (15.4 percent) went to Reggie Gonzales.[6]Smith then topped Butler by 24 votes, 1,675 (50.36 percent) to 1,651 (49.63 percent).[7]In November 2002, Smith had no general election opponent.

In the 2004 general election, Smith defeated the Democrat Mitch Contreras, 26,014 votes (65.3 percent) to 13,807 (34.7 percent).[8]Since 2004, Smith has faced no opponent in either the primary or the general election.

Smith is the chairman of the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee and sits as well on the Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee.[4]

Legislative voting records[edit]

Representative Smith in 2013 supported the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. He voted for companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers,[9] a move which opponents said could lead to the closure of many abortion clinics in the state. These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the Texas State Senate by Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth, who in 2014 is the Democratic nominee for governor against the Republican Greg Abbott.[10] In 2011, Smith supported two other anti-abortion measures. One forbids state funding of agencies which perform abortions. The other requires that a woman undergo a sonogram before procuring an abortion. This legislation is based on the view that a woman could change her mind about an abortion once she witnesses the development of the unborn child through the latest technology.[9] The Texas Right to Life Committee, according to Project Vote Smart, rated Smith 67 percent favorable in 2013 and 64 percent in 2011 but 100 percent in 2003 and 2005.[11]

Smith voted to establish the tax-payer funded school breakfast program. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He also co-sponsored the successful bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. Smith voted for the adoption of the biennial state budgets in both 2013 and 2011 budget. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation.[9]

Smith co-sponsored the bill to prohibit the state government from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored the bill to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in buildings and vehicles in the name of campus security. He supported the bill to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House and Senate and the United States House of Representatives. He voted for term limits for certain state officials. He voted to prohibit texting while driving.[9]Smith supported an "equal pay for women" bill, which passed the Legislature but was vetoedoed by Governor Perry.[12]

In 2011, Smith supported a resolution to reduce funding for state agencies. He voted to expand the sales tax to Internet transactions to match existing laws for brick and mortar stores; the measure passed the House 125-20. Smith voted against a bill to prohibit smoking in public places. He voted to establish eligibility for indigent health care. He voted against corporal punishment in public schools; the bill nevertheless passed the House, 80-64. Smith voted to require colleges and universities to make student centers compatible with traditional family values. To guarantee the integrity of the election process, Smith supported picture identification of voters.[9] The law finally took effect in October 2013 and was used widely without incident in the primaries on March 4, 2014.[13]In 2013, Smith supported related legislation to forbid a voter from turning in multiple ballots.[9]

Interest group ratings[edit]

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Smith 60 percent favorable in 2013, 40 percent in 2011, 72 percent in 2009, and 84 percent in 2007. The Young Conservatives of Texas gave him a cumulative score in 2013 of 74 percent. The interest group Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated Smith 31 percent favorable in 2013 and 25 percent in 2011, low rankings for a Republican lawmaker. The Texas Association of Business, however, awarded him a cumulative score of 87 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated him 79 percent in 2013; the Sierra Club, 43 percent in 2011. The National Rifle Association scored Smith 92 percent in 2012 and letter-grade "A" in all of his previous term. The Libertarian Party rated him 74 percent in 2009 on matters of economic issues and personal liberties.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Wayne Smith (R-TX 128th District)". Mississippi Library Association. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Rep. Wayne Smith (R)". Texas Directory. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Wayne Smith". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wayne Smith's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Rep. Wayne Smith District 128 (R-Baytown)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 2002 (House District 128)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Republican runoff election returns, April 2002 (House District 128)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ "General election returns, November 2, 2004 (House District 128)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Wayne Smith's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  10. ^ M. Fernandez (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Wayne Smith's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Legislative Session: 83 (R) Relating to unlawful employment practices regarding discrimination in payment of compensation". Texas Legislature Online. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Texas Voter ID Officially Takes Effect, October 21, 2013". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
Political offices
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Frederick Martin "Fred" Bosse
Texas State Representative from District 128 (Harris County)

Wayne Smith
2003–

Succeeded by
Incumbent