Shap Smith

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Shap Smith
Shap Smith.jpg
92nd Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 2009 – January 4, 2017
Preceded by Gaye Symington
Succeeded by Mitzi Johnson
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
from the Lamoille-Washington 1 district
Assumed office
January 9, 2003
Preceded by New District[1]
Personal details
Born (1965-12-16) December 16, 1965 (age 52)
Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Melissa Volansky
Alma mater University of Vermont
Indiana University, Bloomington

Shapleigh "Shap" Smith, Jr. (born December 16, 1965) is an American politician who served as the 92nd Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives.

In August 2015 Smith announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination for Governor of Vermont. In November he suspended his campaign, citing the need to spend time with his wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After his wife's health improved, he considered reentering the gubernatorial race but did not think he could raise the required funds in time,[2] so he entered the race for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont instead. He announced his candidacy in May 2016, and finished second to David Zuckerman in the Democratic primary.[3]


Smith graduated from the University of Vermont (B.A., 1987), and is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He also attended the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington (J.D., cum laude, 1991). He is an attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. in Burlington.

Smith, a Democrat, was first elected to the Vermont House in 2002. He represents the Lamoille-Washington 1 District, which includes the Towns of Elmore and Morristown in Lamoille County and Woodbury and Worcester in Washington County.

Early in his House career he was a member of the Ways & Means and Joint Fiscal Committees. On December 6, 2008, House Democrats, who held a 95–48 majority, nominated Smith to be the next Speaker of the Vermont House.[4] He was elected Speaker on January 8, 2009,[5] and was re-elected on January 5, 2011, January 8, 2013, and January 7, 2015.

On August 20, 2015, Smith announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination for Governor.[6] In November he withdrew, following his wife's breast cancer diagnosis.[7] Smith indicated in his withdrawal announcement that he was ending his campaign in order to spend more time with his wife during her treatment.[8]

Smith announced in May 2016 that he would be a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, citing his wife's improved health and a desire to continue a career in public service.[9] A few days before the August 9th primary, he earned the endorsement of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.[10] Smith finished second in the Democratic primary, losing to Democrat/Progressive David Zuckerman, who had been endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Smith resides in Morristown with his wife, Melissa Volansky, and their two children.


  1. ^ "In re Reapportionment of Towns of Woodbury and Worcester". Vermont Supreme Court. September 13, 2004.
  2. ^ "Shap Smith to Run for Lieutenant Governor". Seven Days. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  3. ^ a b DeSmet, Nicole Higgins (9 August 2016). "Zuckerman wins race for Dems lt. governor". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Morrisville lawmaker nominated as House Speaker". (WCAX-TV Channel 3). December 6, 2008.
  5. ^ "Speaker chosen, committees named, $120M bond proposed". Barre-Montpelier (Vt.) Times-Argus. January 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Ledbetter, Stewart (August 20, 2015). "Shap Smith announces he's running for VT governor". WPTZ-TV. Plattsburgh, NY.
  7. ^ Ledbetter, Stewart (November 18, 2015). "Shap Smith ends bid for governor: Wife diagnosed with cancer; Plans to complete final term as House speaker". WPTZ-TV. Plattsburgh, NY.
  8. ^ Burbank, April (November 17, 2015). "Shap Smith suspends campaign for governor". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT.
  9. ^ Heintz, Paul (May 18, 2016). "Shap Smith to Run for Lieutenant Governor". Seven Days. Shelburne, VT.
  10. ^ Heintz, Paul (2 August 2016). "In Race for LG, Sanders Endorses Zuckerman, Dean Backs Smith". Seven Days. Retrieved 6 August 2016.

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