Fred Smith (North Carolina politician)
|Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 12th district
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2009
March 27, 1942 |
Raleigh, North Carolina
|Service/branch||United States Army|
Early life and education
Smith was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. His father was a teacher and coach at an orphanage, and his mother was a homemaker. While attending Raleigh's Broughton High School, Smith earned a football scholarship to attend Wake Forest University. Subsequently, he attended Wake Forest Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1966.
Smith is married to Virginia (Ginny) Reid Smith, is father to five children, and is grandfather to seven children. The Smith family is active in the First Baptist Church of Clayton, where he has been a Sunday school teacher.
Military and business career
Smith served as a Captain in the United States Army JAG Corps for four years after law school. In the years that followed, Fred Smith became a lawyer and homebuilder. Smith's businesses employ more than 600 people in Wake and Johnston Counties. The largest of those companies is paving company CC Mangum, of which he is the CEO. Smith also created the Fred Smith Company, which builds homes and constructs golf courses and athletic clubs. Smith touts himself as a CEO, not a politician, who deals with "straight talk and a clear vision."
Smith argued for a critical east-west transportation corridor. He was a primary sponsor of an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution which would define marriage as between one man and one woman at one time.
Smith was heavily criticized by the Democratic Party, including criticisms from then-state party chairman Jerry Meek, as being an absentee Senator, because Smith missed over 300 votes in 2007, which was over a quarter of all possible voting opportunities.
In 2007, Smith became a candidate for Governor. The office was coming open as a result of the departure of term-limited incumbent, Mike Easley. During his gubernatorial campaign, Smith physically visited all 100 North Carolina counties in nine months and 18 days, holding a barbecue dinner in each county. Barbecue dinners, known as the “Fred Smith for Governor BBQ Statewide Tour,” started in Haywood County, North Carolina on Thursday, August 2, 2007, and ended on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Additionally, during these dinners, Smith thanked each attendee upon their exit from the dinner.
Smith lost the 2008 Republican primary to Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. Official primary election results show Fred Smith won 66 counties but out of a total of 504,973 votes, Smith lost the popular vote to Pat McCrory by 45,975 votes.
On May 6, 2008, Smith endorsed Pat McCrory, saying, “I have pledged my full support to Pat McCrory to do whatever is in my power to help elect a Republican governor in November to change the culture in Raleigh and fix our broken government.” McCrory was not elected in 2008, but was elected in 2012. After taking office in 2013, McCrory appointed Smith to the North Carolina Economic Development Board.
- About Fred, Biography Archived January 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Meet the Senator: An Interview with Fred Smith[dead link]
- NC Senator Fred Smith: From JAG to Politics and Beyond
- Senator Fred Smith (Rep) 2007-2008 Session Archived October 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Someone Tell Fred Smith Actions Speak Louder than Words Archived October 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Statewide Tour Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. - County NC News
- Primary Results - NC State Board of Elections
- Senator Fred Smith Pledges His Support to Pat McCrory Archived 2011-11-06 at the Wayback Machine. - County NC News
- Governor McCrory announces appointments
- News & Observer Under the Dome: McCrory names heavy hitters to economic board Archived 2013-07-17 at Archive.is