Jane H. Smith

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Jane Holland Smith
Louisiana State Representative for
District 8 (Bossier Parish)
In office
Preceded by Robert E. "Bob" Barton
Succeeded by Jeff R. Thompson
Louisiana House Minority Leader
In office
Succeeded by John Bel Edwards
Personal details
Born (1948-01-21) January 21, 1948 (age 69)
Sabine Parish, Louisiana, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Wendell Scott Smith

Hillary S. Garner

Two grandchildren
Residence Bossier City, Bossier Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Occupation Educator; former Bossier Parish school superintendent

Jane Holland Smith (born January 21, 1948) is a retired educator and a Republican former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 8 in Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

In 2012, Smith was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal as deputy secretary of the Louisiana Revenue Department, a full-time position.[1] She was subsequently named by Jindal to one of the three appointed seats on the eleven-member Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.[2]


Prior to her legislative service, which began in 2000, Smith had been the first woman in Bossier Parish to have been appointed as a high-school principal of Haughton High School in Haughton from 1988–1995 and as superintendent of the public schools (1994–1999).[3] She is also the first female ever to have been elected as a state legislator from Bossier Parish.[4]

A native of Sabine Parish in western Louisiana,[4] Smith received her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Education degrees, plus thirty additional graduate hours, from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. NSU named her a "Distinguished Alumnus" and invited her as commencement speaker at the 2001 graduation exercises. Smith also completed a course in school principalship at Centenary College in Shreveport.[5]

In 1999, Smith was named the Louisiana "Superintendent of the Year" because of her development of a character education program and a technology plan considered a statewide educational model She has received recognition from the Women's Business Council, an affiliate of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. The Young Men’s Christian Association has cited her work in promoting awareness of violence against women. She procured the Advocacy Award from the American Cancer Society.

Smith is married to Wendell Scott Smith (born May 27, 1958), the long-serving principal of Benton High School in Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish. Daughter Hillary S. Garner of Plaquemine and her husband, Eric D. Garner (both born 1974), have two children, Holland and Evan. The Smiths attend First Baptist Church in Bossier City,[4] formerly pastored by Fred L. Lowery.

House service[edit]

Smith was elected without opposition to her first House term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 23, 1999. Incumbent Republican Robert E. "Bob" Barton (born 1948) of Bossier City, then an assistant to the chancellor at Bossier Parish Community College,[3] did not seek a second term but ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate. In 2003, Smith defeated fellow Republican Ryan Gatti, 6,999 (66.9 percent) to 3,456 (33.1 percent).[6] Twelve years later, Gatti was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. In 2007, Smith defeated Republican Gary Miller, 7,508 (62.2 percent) to 4,555 (37.8 percent).[7]

Smith was a member of the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus and the Louisiana Rural Caucus. Her House committee assignments were Capital Outlay, Criminal Justice, Governmental Affairs and the tax-writing Ways and Means panel, of which she was the vice-chairman.[8] In the 2007 campaign, Smith signed a "No New Taxes" pledge.[9]

In 2004, Smith was designated “Representative of the Year” by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The following year she received the same honor from the Louisiana Association of Principals.[4] On March 27, 2007, Smith obtained the annual achievement award from the Sabine Hall of Fame, which recognizes a Sabine Parish native who moves to another area and becomes successful in a particular field. On May 4, 2007, because of a 100 percent voting record on faith and family values, Smith was named the recipient of the "Outstanding Family Advocate Award" for 2006 from the Louisiana Family Forum.[4]

Smith was a legislative proponent of health and fitness and advocated physical education in the elementary school curriculum. Then House Speaker Jim Tucker appointed Smith to a committee to address the needs of veterans and active-duty military personnel, an area of particular concern to the representative, considering in part the location of Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish.[10]

2011 election[edit]

Smith was term-limited and unable to seek a fourth term in the House in the 2011 primary election. Instead, she ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican B.L. "Buddy" Shaw of Shreveport. Though armed with Governor Jindal's strong backing Smith lost her race to fellow Republican Barrow Peacock, a businessman from Shreveport who had run third in a bid for the same seat in 2007. In the 2011 match, Peacock polled 10,331 votes (55.5 percent) to Smith's 8,295 votes (44.5 percent).[11]

Meanwhile, Republican Jeff R. Thompson, a Bossier City attorney, was elected to succeed Smith in the District 8 House seat.[11] In 2008, Thompson ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination to succeed the retiring U.S. Representative Jim McCrery. McCrery endorsed Thompson, but that position went to another Republican, John Fleming (politician) of Minden.


  1. ^ "Smith takes Jindal Administration role, January 11, 2011". bossierpress.com. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ "BESE Member Listing by District". bese.louisiana.gov. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Stephaan Harris, "After 20 years of service in Bossier Parish, Jane Smith leaves to be a state representative", November 26, 1999". Shreveport Times. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Jane Smith". janesmith.us. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana House of Representatives: Jane H. Smith". house.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. October 4, 2003. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Election returns, State Representative, District 8, October 20, 2007". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rep. Jane H. Smith". Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ ""Update: Louisiana Signers of the No-New-Taxes Pledge", October 17, 2007" (PDF). atr.org. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Rep. Smith appointed to Louisiana Veterans committee". janesmith.us. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Louisiana primary election returns, October 22, 2011". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert E. "Bob" Barton
Louisiana State Representative for District 8 (Bossier Parish)

Jane Holland Smith

Succeeded by
Jeff R. Thompson