Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2006, 4th term.

Born: December 19, 1970, Scottsbluff, NE

Home: Gering, NE

Education: U. of NE, B.S. 1993

Professional Career: Realtor, Buyer Realty, 1997-2006; Owner, My Other Garage, 2003-06.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Evangelical

Family: Single

Republican Adrian Smith, elected in 2006, is an unwavering conservative with a long record in public service who focuses intently on the rural issues important in his district.

Smith hails from a politically active family; his father is a former county Republican chairman, and his mother is the state GOP secretary. But the most significant political influence in Smith’s life was President Ronald Reagan. When he was in fourth grade, Smith recalls, adults around him were weighing Reagan’s attributes against that of Democrat Jimmy Carter’s, and it sunk into the boy’s head that Reagan favored a strong defense. “It just made sense to me that we needed a strong military,” said Smith, whose congressional office is filled with portraits of the former president. In college, Smith served as an intern in the Nebraska governor’s office and as a page in the state’s unicameral legislature.

At 23, shortly after graduating from the University of Nebraska, he won election to the Gering City Council in his hometown. Four years later, he knocked off a Democratic incumbent to win the first of two terms in the legislature. There, Smith devoted his efforts to opposing abortion rights, protecting Nebraskans’ right to bear arms, fighting tax increases, and blocking efforts to expand casino gambling. He also worked as a real estate agent and owned a storage business.

In May 2005, two weeks after Rep. Tom Osborne, a Republican, announced his ultimately unsuccessful primary bid for governor, Smith joined the race for Osborne’s seat in Congress. The crowded Republican primary field included Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek and John Hanson, Osborne’s former district director. Smith championed tax incentives to attract new residents and encourage investment in the district. He also promised to expand global markets for Nebraska farmers.

Still, his opponents charged that he betrayed rural Nebraska by accepting more than $300,000 in contributions from members of the Club for Growth, a national anti-tax group that opposes farm subsidies. Smith supports caps on subsidies, which many of his farming constituents do not. He parried by touting his support from the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Smith ultimately won the nomination with 39% of the vote. Hanson finished second with 29%, while Vavricek got 27%.

In the general election, the Democrats fielded an unusually strong nominee: Yale-educated, cattle rancher Scott Kleeb. Kleeb called for changes in farm policy to emphasize niche markets, and he accused Smith of “distorting the truth” about the Club for Growth’s opposition to farm subsidies. Smith portrayed Kleeb as a political carpetbagger who grew up overseas on military bases and attended schools in Colorado and Connecticut before settling in Nebraska on a family-owned ranch. Kleeb was competitive financially and kept the race close in the polls. Still, Smith won 55%-45%. He has easily won reelection since then.

In Washington, Smith has been much more conservative than his Nebraska colleagues in the House, Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry. He is a member of the Tea Party Caucus, and he once answered a survey from the conservative Heritage Foundation about what makes him happy by responding, “Having the freedom to pursue opportunities relating to my faith while upholding the ideals of our Founding Fathers.”

Smith was rewarded for his party loyalty with a coveted assignment on the powerful Ways and Means Committee in 2011. With a focus on agriculture and trade issues, he sought to ensure that agriculture was part of the talks held by a U.S.-European Union working group that met to consider a U.S.-EU free trade agreement. He also was a leading voice in calling for repeal of the estate tax, which was eliminated for all but a few thousand wealthy taxpayers in the New Year’s Day 2013 budget compromise.

Smith stood by President George W. Bush as support for the war in Iraq waned, turning down the Democrats’ offer of billions of dollars in drought relief if he joined them in pushing timetables for withdrawing troops. As co-chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus, Smith in 2009 pressured President Barack Obama to set up an Office of Rural Affairs, and he pushed to preserve federal grants for tiny airports. The same year, Smith got the House to pass his bill setting up a grant program to relieve veterinarian shortages.

Smith added to his workload in 2011 by teaching a course, “Running and Ruling: The Member’s Perspective,” at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6435

(202) 225-0207

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2241
Washington, DC 20515-2703

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6435

(308) 633-6335

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2241
Washington, DC 20515-2703

DISTRICT OFFICE

(308) 384-3900

(308) 384-3902

1811 West Second Street Suite 275
Grand Island, NE 68803-5400

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6435

(308) 633-6335

1811 West Second Street Suite 275
Grand Island, NE 68803-5400

DISTRICT OFFICE

(308) 633-6333

(308) 633-6335

416 Valley View Drive Suite 600
Scottsbluff, NE 69361-1445

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6435

(308) 633-6335

416 Valley View Drive Suite 600
Scottsbluff, NE 69361-1445

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

3321 Avenue I Suite 6
Scottsbluff, NE 69361-4587

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-6435

(308) 633-6335

3321 Avenue I Suite 6
Scottsbluff, NE 69361-4587

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Staff

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Agriculture

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

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Joshua Jackson
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Sarah Meier
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Sarah Meier
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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Legislative Assistant

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Legislative Assistant

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Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

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Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Immigration

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Insurance

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

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Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Military

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

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Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Rules

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Science

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Social Security

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Tax

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Technology

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Trade

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Matt Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Joshua Jackson
Legislative Director

Sarah Meier
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Adrian Smith
Votes: 139,994
Percent: 75.5%
Mark Sullivan
Votes: 45,426
Percent: 24.5%
2012 GENERAL
Adrian Smith
Votes: 187,423
Percent: 74.17%
Mark Sullivan
Votes: 65,266
Percent: 25.83%
2012 PRIMARY
Adrian Smith
Votes: 62,645
Percent: 81.42%
Bob Lingenfelter
Votes: 14,297
Percent: 18.58%
2010 GENERAL
Adrian Smith
Votes: 117,275
Percent: 70.12%
Rebekah Davis
Votes: 29,932
Percent: 17.9%
Dan Hill
Votes: 20,036
Percent: 11.98%
2010 PRIMARY
Adrian Smith
Votes: 65,664
Percent: 87.97%
Dennis Parker
Votes: 8,979
Percent: 12.03%
2008 GENERAL
Adrian Smith
Votes: 183,117
Percent: 76.87%
Jay Stoddard
Votes: 55,087
Percent: 23.13%
2008 PRIMARY
Adrian Smith
Votes: 55,225
Percent: 87.42%
Jeremiah Ellison
Votes: 7,947
Percent: 12.58%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (70%), 2008 (77%), 2006 (55%)

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