By Connor O’Brien and Jeremy Herb Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, has long criticized his colleagues for failing to make hard choices in the Pentagon’s budget. The 10-term congressman from Washington state voted against the National Defense Authorization Act in May, hitting Republicans for shortchanging the Pentagon’s war … READ MORE
Home Grown Leadership
Adam Smith was born on June 15, 1965, in Washington, D.C. Adopted as an infant, he was raised in SeaTac, Washington where his father, Ben, worked as a ramp serviceman at SeaTac Airport and was active in the local Machinists’ Union. His mother, Leila, stayed at home, raising Adam and his two brothers. Adam attended Bow Lake Elementary, Chinook Middle School, and Tyee High School, graduating from Tyee in 1983. After a year at Western Washington University, Adam transferred to Fordham University, where he worked his way through college loading trucks for United Parcel Service and graduated in 1987 with a degree in Political Science. Following his graduation, Adam attended the University Of Washington School Of Law, and earned his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993-1995. As a prosecutor, Adam focused on drunk driving and domestic violence cases, and in 1996, went on to work as a judge pro tempore.
During his final year at UW, Adam decided to run for the State Senate in the 33rd Legislative District, where he grew up. He campaigned door to door, eventually doorbelling the entire district twice and defeating the 16 year incumbent in the 1990 elections. When he took office in January 1991, Adam was 25 years old and the youngest State Senator in the country. While in the State Senate, Adam served on the Education and Law and Justice Committees, and served as Chair of the Law and Justice Committee from 1993-1997. Despite the strong Republican tide in 1994, Adam was re-elected to the State Senate in 1994 and his victory helped the Democrats retain control of the State Senate by one seat. During his time in the State Senate, Adam developed a reputation as a moderate Democrat, with a thoughtful and common sense approach to governance.
In 1996, Adam decided to run for Washington State’s Ninth Congressional District. The District, which had been newly created after the 1990 census, was drawn as a swing-district by Washington State’s bi-partisan redistricting commission. The District lived up to that reputation by electing a Democrat in 1992 and a Republican in 1994. Adam ran against incumbent Randy Tate and in one of the most closely watched races in the country, defeated him 50%-47%.
In 1993, Adam married Spokane native, Sara Bickle-Eldridge, a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law. Their daughter, Kendall Charlotte, was born in July 2000, followed by their son, Jack Evers, in June 2003. The Smiths live in Bellevue, where their children attend Issaquah Middle School and Issaquah High School, and participate in local sports leagues and school clubs. Both Adam and Sara are involved in their community and their children’s schools, with their highlights being Adam’s stint as a recreational soccer coach and Sara’s two terms as PTA President.