Fred Smith (Arkansas Politician)
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Fred Smith Arkansas Politician
Fredrick Smith
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 50th district

January 14, 2013 - January 2015
Mark Biviano (redistricted)
Milton Nicks
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 54th district

January 10, 2011 - September 12, 2011
Otis L. Davis
Hudson Hallum
Personal details
NationalityAmerican
Political party
Green (2012-2014)
Alma materOral Roberts University
WebsiteAR House of Representatives

Fredrick "Fred" Smith is an American politician and a former professional basketball player. A Democrat for most of his life, Smith was briefly the highest ranking elected officeholder of the Green Party.

Early life, education, and basketball career

Smith attended Crawfordsville High School in Crawfordsville in Crittenden County in eastern Arkansas. He subsequently attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thereafter, he was recruited by the Harlem Globetrotters in New York City. In 1997, he set the world record for a vertical slam dunk at 11 feet 11 inches (3.63 m). Smith was eventually selected for the Harlem Globetrotters all-time roster. Retiring from sports, Smith returned to Arkansas in 2004 and founded the non-profit organization Save Our Kids.[1]

Arkansas House of Representatives

Elections

2010

State Representative Otis Davis decided to retire in 2010. Smith decided to run in the open Arkansas House District 54. In the four-candidate primary, Smith ranked first with 40 percent of the vote. James Pulliaum ranked second with 26 percent.[2] In the run-off, Smith defeated Pulliaum 53-47 percent, a difference of 127 votes.[3] Smith won the general election with 81% of the vote.[4]

Smith was under indictment for felony theft at the time, stemming from an incident in which he erroneously received a double payment to his Save Our Kids non-profit organization, cashed both checks and deposited one, for nearly $30,000, into a personal account.[5] Smith served for only 19 days in the Arkansas House before resigning in January 2011 after a Chicot County, Arkansas judge found him guilty of theft. The conviction was expunged in 2012, making Smith eligible to seek public office once again.[6][7]

2012

After having his conviction expunged, Smith announced his decision to run once more for Arkansas House of Representatives. The Democratic Party of Arkansas filed a lawsuit against Smith in order to keep him off the ballot.[5] This led Smith to register with the Green Party of Arkansas.[5] Smith ran against Democratic incumbent Hudson Hallum in the general election for District 50, largely the former District 54, redrawn in 2011 to reflect 2010 census figures. Ironically, in September 2012, Hallum resigned after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit voter fraud. On Election Day, just hours before the polls closed, Judge Mary McGowan granted Smith's request that none of the votes for Hallum be counted, leading to Smith receiving 100% of the vote on election day.[5] Although none of the votes cast for Hallum, which had he won would have created a vacancy and necessitated a special election, out of more than 20,000 votes cast county-wide, only 2,200 voted in favor of Smith over the potential for a special election.[8][9][10]

Smith is the second former Green Party member elected to the Arkansas State Legislature, following Richard Carroll, who was elected in 2008 from District 39 on the Green Party ticket but switched to the Democratic Party afterward, only to be defeated in the 2010 Democratic primary.

2014

During his tenure, Smith voted with the Democrats most of the time. He ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the nomination to his House seat.[5][11] He was unseated in the primary by Milton Nicks, a retired state police officer, construction company owner, and Baptist pastor from Marion in Crittenden County, who received 1,045 votes (66 percent). Smith trailed with 530 votes (34 percent).[12]

References

  1. ^ "Smith's road to state house controversial". The Evening Times. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ Our Campaigns - AR State House 054- D Primary Race - May 18, 2010
  3. ^ Our Campaigns - AR State House 054- D Runoff Race - Jun 08, 2010
  4. ^ Our Campaigns - AR State House 054 Race - Nov 02, 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e Alana Semuels (17 May 2014). "Fred Smith runs for reelection, redemption with Arkansas Democrats". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "Arkansas State Rep. Fred Smith Resigns". arkansasmatters.com. 27 January 2011. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Arkansas State Rep. Fred Smith Resigns". The Washington Post. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ Brantley, Max (5 September 2012). "State Rep. Hudson Hallum pleads with 3 others in absentee vote fraud case; resigns from legislature". Arkansas Times. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "Judge: Votes won't be counted for ex-Ark. lawmaker". KATV. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ Zinser, Lynne (7 November 2012). "A Former Globetrotter Wins Election by Globetrotter-Like Margin". New York Times. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ Richard Winger (February 26, 2014). "Arkansas Representative Fred Smith, Elected as a Green Party Nominee in 2012, Files for Re-Election as a Democrat". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved 2014.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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