Local Politics

Fred Smith Profile

Posted January 15, 2008
Updated January 17, 2008

Age: 65

Place of residence: Clayton

Campaign Web site: http://www.joinfred.com

Family: wife, Virginia (Ginny) Reid Smith; children: David and Heather Smithdeal, Jule and Alisa Smith, Jake and Amber Austin, Reid and Jaclyn Smith, Duval Smith; grandchildren: Grant Austin, Andrew Austin, Mary Stanford Austin, Anna Grace Austin, Ardyn Smith, Lila Smith, Julius Smith

Political experience: North Carolina State Senator - District 12 (2003 to present); member, Johnston County Board of Commissioners (2001-2002)

Work experience: President, Fred Smith Company; chief executive officer, C.C. Mangum Company; managing partner, Riverwood Golf and Athletic Club: chairman of the board, North State Bank; past managing partner, Smith Debnam Hibbert & Pahl, (now Smith Debnam Narron Wyche Story & Myers) LLP

Civic involvement: Chairman, Johnston County Transportation Committee; member, Johnston County Comprehensive Planning Committee; National Golf Course Owners Association member; president, Commercial Law League of America (1989-1990, member since 1970); American, North Carolina and Wake County Bar Associations; past member, Board of Directors, Raleigh Rescue Mission; North Carolina Cattleman's Association, President (1982); past memberm Board of Trustees, Meredith College, Raleigh; member, Law Board of Visitors, Wake Forest University; member, Board of Trustees, Campbell University; member, American Legion Post 71, Clayton; founder, Artists-in-the-Schools Program, Johnston County Schools

Religious affiliation, if any: First Baptist Church of Clayton: past chairman, Board of Deacons; past chairman, Board of Trustees; past superintendent of Sunday cchool; Sunday school teacher, adult men's class

Favorite movies: Sea Biscuit, Rudy, Amazing Grace

Favorite books: Good to Great, The Call, Born Fighting

Top three issues facing North Carolina:

The taxpayers of North Carolina deserve a state government that is more effective and efficient. The governor should create a culture of thrift to save taxpayers their hard-earned dollars. As governor, I will veto any budget that does not fall within the guidelines of the “Taxpayer Protection Act,” which I introduced, and would restrict state spending from growing any faster than the rate of growth in population and inflation.

Illegal aliens are placing a tremendous burden on our state. As governor, I would push to:

  •  Adopt the 287(g) program, which “provides the legal authority for state and local enforcement to investigate, detain, arrest and deport illegal aliens violating our criminal laws.”
  •  Require valid documentation before issuing a driver’s license or allowing anyone to receive government benefits.
  •  Require a valid voter ID card to protect the integrity of our elections.

When more than 30 percent of the high school students fail to graduate, we need to make serious reforms. We must provide the best atmosphere for learning with a renewed emphasis on discipline and safety in our traditional schools, reward excellent teachers, remove the cap on charter schools, provide more options for vocational training and give more support for home schooling.

Why are you the most qualified candidate for governor?

North Carolinians are looking for a leader, not a critic or politician. Leaders proactively identify problems, provide a plan to effectively solve the problem and then execute the plan with persistence and determination. The governor should have a clear understanding of state government and have real-life perspective and experience outside of government.

I am a conservative businessman with tested leadership skills and broad experience. I have been a farmer, served in the military, built a law firm, raised five wonderful children, grown successful businesses and served as county commissioner and state senator.

As governor, I will make it a top priority to create an environment that will expand innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunities for all North Carolinians. By doing so, we can cultivate a well-rounded economic base for our state. This growth will provide an expanded tax base, cut unemployment, and allow increased investment in infrastructure and our public schools.

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