NJ Decides 2011


Lamar S. Smith

Contact Information

Telephone:202-225-4236 (Main phone number)
Telephone:210-826-1085 (Main campaign number)
Campaign finance

Candidate Background

Birth place:San Antonio, TX
Residence:San Antonio, TX
Religion:Christian Science
First Elected:1986


District:District 21
Next Election:2014

Undergraduate education: Yale University


Graduate education: Southern Methodist University


Lamar Smith was born in San Antonio, where he still lives. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1969 at Yale University and a law degree in 1975 at Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Smith worked as a management intern at the Small Business Administration in Washington in 1969 and 1970. He then worked as a business writer for the Christian Science Monitor until 1972. He practiced law and was a partner in a ranch.

Smith was elected chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party in 1978. He was elected to the Texas House in 1981. He was elected a Bexar County commissioner in 1982 and was re-elected in 1984.

Smith was first elected to the U.S. House in 1986.

Smith is a widower from his first marriage and remarried in 1992. He has two children from his first marriage.


Lamar Smith, known for his tough stance toward illegal immigration, has continued to push for measures he says protect the nation's borders. He has opposed efforts to allow illegal immigrants to legalize their status and supported efforts in early 2010 to prevent the National Park Service from interfering with border security measures for environmental reasons.

Smith got into trouble in 2012 for introducing the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was roundly denounced by Internet companies and the technology community. Activists formed political action committees to defeat Smith, but he easily won the 2012 Republican primary.

He has criticized President Barack Obama's administration as being weak on border security.

He also advocated in 2009 and 2010 for better funding and legislation for cyber security efforts, including improved computer security in both government and private sector efforts to protect against terrorism via computer viruses.

Smith, who is the ranking republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in early 2010 that he will oppose the confirmation of any liberal nominee to the Supreme Court.

He opposed the 2010 health care reform bill, calling it a betrayal of the public trust, and he has been a frequent critic of President Obama. He has also been a frequent critic of the media, which he accuses of being deferential to the administration.

On most issues, Smith toes the party line. He opposes abortion rights — except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother — and supports the death penalty.

He has said abortion should not be federally funded for poor women, even in the cases listed above.

He opposed in 2009 cap-and-trade legislation, which would set mandatory emissions allowances and allow the trading of pollution permits.

Committee Assignments: Science, Space, and Technology; Judiciary(Chair); Homeland Security

American Conservative Union Rating: 84

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 0


Lamar Smith won his March 2014 primary, he will seek re-election in November.

(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 6, 2014.)

Last updated 12:16am November 26, 2014