State Rep. Kent Smith (D–Euclid) took the oath of office today during the opening session of the 133rd Ohio General Assembly at the Ohio Statehouse, starting his third term as state lawmaker.

To begin the 133rd session of the House, Rep. Smith voted on a number of measures that allow the House to officially begin business, including the election of House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), and the approval of resolutions related to honoring the American flag during session, the creation of new House rules, and the administration of House personnel.

“While Democratic Statehouse candidates received almost 50% of the vote for seats in the 133rd General Assembly, due to partisan gerrymandering, Democrats only won 38 of 99 possible seats on November 6th.  Due to that failure of democracy in Ohio, no Democratic candidate was available for Speaker of the Ohio House,” said Rep. Smith.  “I chose to cast my vote for Rep. Larry Householder because of his public support of organized labor.  I believe the most important part of the American and Ohio economy is a healthy middle class.  Research indicates that union membership helps sustain and protect middle class wages for all families be they union members or not.  “

Smith also joined a joint session of all Ohio House and Senate members to officially validate the results of Ohio’s Nov. election for governor, attorney general, auditor of state, secretary of state, and treasurer of state.

“Considering Ohio’s median household income remains below the national average, it is critically important the 133rd General Assembly and all statewide elected officials do all we can to grow income for Ohio’s middle class,” Smith added. “Keeping unions alive and strong is keeping with that policy goal.” Smith continued. “I am humbled by the opportunity to again fight for the residents of Ohio’s 8th House District and I look forward to working with Speaker Householder and incoming Governor DeWine to chart a new course so that the 11.5 million Ohioans that we work for will be better off as a result of this General Assembly.”

State Rep. Kent Smith was first elected to serve the people of the 8th Ohio House District in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016.  He joined the Ohio House of Representatives after serving Euclid, Ohio as a Member of the Euclid Board of Education from 2002 – 2013.  In his 12 years on the Euclid School Board, Kent never missed a meeting.  As a Euclid School Board Member, he was a four-time winner of the “Award of Achievement” which is awarded annually by the Ohio School Boards Association to less than three percent of all School Board Members in Ohio.

Smith graduated from Miami University and earned his Master of Science in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University in 2001. His Master’s Degree thesis - which was written in 2001 - was about the emerging threat of Predatory Lending and the Subprime Market. He also co-authored the first Predatory Lending Report by Policy Matters Ohio in 2002.  Following his Master’s Degree studies, he was a PhD student at Cleveland State University in Economic Development.

In 2017, he was one of three Ohio State Reps, and one of 37 overall, to receive a fellowship for the 2017 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development conducted by the Council of State Governments (CSG) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Additionally, he serves as the Ohio Lead in the Ohio House for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and on three multi-state legislative caucuses; CSG’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Labor and Economic Development Standing Committee and the NCSL Task Force on Cyber Security.

Since 2006, Representative Smith has been the head of the Euclid Democratic Party – a position called the Euclid City Democrat Leader.  In addition, he works as a roller derby announcer for both Burning River Roller Derby in Cleveland and The Chicago Outfit.  He joined Burning River in 2008 and The Chicago Outfit in 2010.  He has announced roller derby for the past 11 years and has called hundreds of bouts across the Midwest.  In 2018, he was one of 15 American roller derby voices selected to help announce the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, England.

Prior to joining the Ohio General Assembly, Representative Smith worked for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, which included an assignment with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and at four Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations.

He is eager to use his unique perspective and professional experience to improve the quality of life for the people of the 8th Ohio House District and working families across the state.

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