October 13th – U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., has chosen to be a work horse rather than a show horse in Congress.
Smith has risen in seniority on the House Armed Services Committee, and the Intelligence Committee, mastering complicated topics from terrorism to military procurement.
The 9th District of Washington stretches through suburbs of south King County, much of Pierce County, and extends into Thurston County. If the district had one more military installation, it would probably sink into Puget Sound.
Smith came to Congress in 1996 by unseating Rep. Randy Tate, subsequently a Christian Coalition leader, and has since held what was designed to be a marginal House seat. He’s done so by ringing thousands of doorbells, and patiently listened to harrangues at town meetings from perpetually dissatisfied liberals and Tea Party activists on the right.
He’s a strong supporter of the environment, gets kudos from Planned Parenthood — pro-choice activists helped put him in Congress — and even receives a fairly strong pro-business rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Smith was deeply involved in the 2004 and 2008 presidential races, at some risk. He became chair of Sen. John Kerry’s campaign in the state at a time when the Democrats “Deaniacs” were riding high. He did likewise for Barack Obama despite warnings about the Clintons’ retaliatory capabilities.
Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri is carrying the Republican banner against Smith this year. He is anti-abortion, wants to decrease corporate taxes and eliminate the estate tax. He’s weak on the environment, and opposes extending marriage to same-sex couples.
Colleagues have recognized Adam Smith as a lawmaker capable of heavy lifting. Seattlepi.com endorses Smith for re-election.