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Ralph Smith

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Ralph Smith
Ralph Smith.jpg
Virginia Senate District 19
In office
2008 - Present
Term ends
January 11, 2016
Years in position 7
Base salary$18,000/year
Per diem$180/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First elected2007
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Date of birth07/19/1942
Place of birthRoanoke, VA
Office website
Campaign website
Ralph K. Smith (b. July 19, 1942) is a Republican member of the Virginia State Senate, representing District 19. He was first elected to the chamber in 2007.


Smith attended Nashville Auto Diesel College. He was the former mayor of Roanoke. Smith is C.E.O. at Ralph Smith, Inc.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:

Virginia Committee Assignments, 2015
Education and Health
Local Government, Chair
Privileges and Elections

2014 legislative session

In the 2014 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:


In the 2012-2013 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Smith's website highlighted the following campaign themes:

  • Freedom
Excerpt: "I believe in the core principles of Ronald Reagan: limited government, low taxes and the God-given gift of liberty."
  • Taxation
Excerpt: "I believe the problem is not that we are taxed too little, but that government spends too much. Over the past 10 years, our state budget has doubled."
  • The People
Excerpt: "I believe in the people of Southwest Virginia, not in the power brokers of Northern Virginia or anywhere else."
  • Economic Prosperity
Excerpt: "I believe small businesses are the engine of Virginia’s economy. I ran my own business for 40 years, and as Roanoke’s mayor I led the fight for lower taxes, low-cost air service, regional cooperation and decreased regulation."
  • Right to Bear Arms
Excerpt: "I believe that our Founding Fathers truly meant what they said in the Second Amendment. Government should not pass laws that abridge the citizens’ right to bear arms."
  • Faith
Excerpt: "I believe in God, the sanctity of human life, and the necessity of the Golden Rule."
  • Education
Excerpt: "I believe education is the key to the future of our Commonwealth. However, when it comes to the education of children, I trust parents more than I trust “experts” from the educational establishment."
  • Immigration
Excerpt: "I believe that immigration has made America great. Illegal immigration, on the other hand, is killing us."
  • Property Rights
Excerpt: "I believe that we can be free only to the extent that we can own private property and keep the government from seizing that property."
  • Conservative Leadership
Excerpt: "I believe actions speak louder than words. I am a conservative out of conviction, not convenience, and I believe in voting on principle, not on expediency."



See also: Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

On November 8, 2011, Smith won re-election to District 19 of the Virginia State Senate. Due to redistricting, Smith was moved from District 22 to District 19. He was unchallenged in the August 23 primary and ran unopposed in the November 8 general election.[1]

Virginia State Senate, District 19 General Election, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRalph Smith 56.6% 28,065
     Independent J. Brandon Bell, II Incumbent 43.4% 21,551
Total Votes 49,616


See also: Virginia State Senate elections, 2007

On Nov. 6, 2007, Smith won election to the 22nd District Seat in the Virginia State Senate, defeating opponent Michael Breiner (D).[2]

Smith raised $391,692 for his campaign while Breiner raised $754,174.[3]

Virginia State Senate, District 22 (2007)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Ralph Smith (R) 21,193 50,75%
Michael Breiner (D) 20,452 48.97%

Campaign donors


In 2011, Smith received $127,148 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[4]

Virginia State Senate 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Ralph Smith's campaign in 2011
Virginia Senate Republican Caucus$17,364
Virginia Association Of Realtors$5,000
Smith, James R$5,000
Brock Jr, T R$2,500
Brock Jr, T R$2,500
Total Raised in 2011 $127,148
Total Votes received in 2011 28,065
Cost of each vote received $4.53


Below are Smith's top five campaign contributors in the 2007 election:

Contributor 2007 total
Ralph K. Smith $130,000
Virginia Senate Republican Leadership Trust $27,484
Building a Better Virginia $25,000
Newman for Senate $12,000
Ralph Smith Mayor Committee $11,885


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Virginia

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Virginia scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 8 through March 10. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly will be in session from January 14 to February 28, 2015.

  • Legislators are scored based on their support of pro-business issues during the 2014 legislative session.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on business and quality of life issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on bills that VMA introduced or was part of an coalition that introduced it.


In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly was in regular session from January 11 to March 10. In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 9 to February 25.

  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • Legislators are scored based on important legislation affecting business and industry.
  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on the issue of equality.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their voting record on the issues of the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.


Smith was born in Roanoke, Virginia, on July 19, 1942.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Stanley
Virginia Senate District 19
Succeeded by
Preceded by
J. Bell
Virginia Senate District 22
Succeeded by
Thomas Garrett