Smith seeking GOP nod in 1st Congressional District

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   JONESBOROUGH -- The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 altered the lives of millions of Americans. Congressional candidate David Smith says the day ignited a passion in him to help shape the nation as a lawmaker.
   "Today is not the day for summer soldiers and sunshine patriots," said Smith, of Kingsport, who announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District at a press conference held here Tuesday morning. He is seeking to unseat incumbent Congressman William Jenkins in the Aug. 5 federal primary.
   In his candidacy speech at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, Smith mined traditional Republican platforms of a strong national defense, a conservative economic policy, as well as a return to conservative moral values. He said he believes in preserving traditional conservative values, particularly marriage as only between male and female. He said that, in addition to terrorism, "moral decay and uncontrolled government spending" are threatening American democracy.
   Smith said despite their political party affiliation, there is a difference between he and Jenkins as candidates.
   "We need more than a conservative vote in Washington," said Smith, a financial analyst for Eastman Chemical Company. "We need someone who will lead the charge for change and ensure the values and principals that have made our country great are preserved for future generations."
   Smith acknowledged millions of jobs were lost to foreign countries in recent years. He said most American companies are on unequal economic footing with international competitors who either did not face or did not abide by regulatory controls. Smith said he favors repealing federal regulations that created barriers for American companies to flourish against foreign competitors. He also said the country cannot afford disbursing billions of dollars to cover both the federal deficit and government-funded social programs.
   "The policy of taxing the rich to give to the poor weakens the economy of the democracy," he said.
   He also praised President Bush for pursuing international terrorists and following the principle of "America is great because it is good" observed by 18th century French foreign minister Alexis de Tocqueville.
   A native of Salt Lake City, Smith has worked as an engineer, business consultant and financial analyst for several companies. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah and an MBA in finance from Northwestern University in Chicago. He and his wife, Jenelle, have three sons, Joshua, Tate, and Porter. He said his role as a father heightened his desire to seek political office.
   Smith said he plans to take his campaign to all 12 counties of the 1st District. Despite growing up in the western United States, Smith has ties to Tennessee. Two of his great-grandfathers are members of the "First Families of Tennessee".
   "I may have been born out of Tennessee," he said, "but the road of life had brought me back home."