Steve Smith (Arizona)

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Steve Smith
Steve Smith.gif
Arizona State Senate, District 11
In office
January 5, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 1, 2017
Years in position 0
Base salary$24,000/year
Per diem$35/day for the first 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and $10/day thereafter.
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsFour terms (8 years)
Prior offices
Arizona House of Representatives District 11
Arizona State Senate District 23
Bachelor'sMichigan State University
Office website
Campaign website
Steve Smith is a Republican member of the Arizona State Senate, representing District 11. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014. He previously represented District 23 from 2010 until 2013. He previously served in the Arizona House of Representatives, representing District 11 from 2013 to 2015.


Smith earned his B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University. His professional experience includes running a talent agency.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

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

Arizona Committee Assignments, 2015
Commerce and Workforce Development, Vice chair
Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility
Public Safety, Military and Technology, Chair


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Smith served on these committees:


Campaign themes


Smith's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[1]

Border Security / Illegal Immigration

  • Excerpt: "As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Border Security committee and as a member of the Joint Border Security Advisory Committee, Steve authored and introduced many pieces of legislation to help fix this problem, most notably SB 1406 signed by the Governor that allows Arizona to build its own border fence doing the job the federal government will not do. Rest assured, Steve will continue to lead on this issue to protect the people of Arizona."

Jobs and the Economy

  • Excerpt: "We know that the government does not create jobs, but the government can and should create policy to assist in prompting economic freedom and a conducive climate for growth."


  • Excerpt: "Steve opposes and has voted against Common Core because he believes local control of education is best and that more resources should be aimed at the classroom."


  • Excerpt: "Steve is one of the most outspoken advocates for the Pro-Life cause, has a 100% Pro-Life voting record, and is endorsed by Arizona Right to Life. In addition, Steve firmly believes in and will always fight for the sanctity of traditional marriage (one man and one woman)."


  • Excerpt: "Steve has pledged to oppose any increase in taxes and has sponsored and voted for legislation to lower personal and business taxes."


Smith's website highlighted the following issues:[2]

  • Jobs
Excerpt: "...we must provide economic freedom to business owners so that they can grow/expand their product or service and continue to hire more Arizonans."
  • Illegal immigration
Excerpt: "We must immediately secure the border by completing the entire fence/wall and adding the necessary amount of border patrol/troops on the ground to stop the tidal wave of illegal immigrants. This problem directly affects Arizona socially and fiscally and must be addressed once and for all."
  • Education
Excerpt: "With over 200 school districts, there clearly is a tremendous amount of overhead that needs to be delimited and, once eliminated, more money will be available to go where it belongs, to the teachers. "
  • Taxes
Excerpt: "Taxes and regulations need to be cut on both individuals and small businesses in order to promote economic growth. It has been proven time and again that lowering taxes, NOT RAISING TAXES, (especially during a recession) helps restore the economy."
  • Energy
Excerpt: "There is absolutely no reason why Arizona should not be the leaders of the world in solar energy. We need to be at the forefront in solar technology as I believe it would be not only a tremendous source for new jobs but would save an extraordinary amount of money on utility costs to both individuals and businesses."

Medicaid expansion lawsuit

See also: Can Arizona conservatives beat the clock to block Medicaid expansion from taking effect Jan. 1?

Steve Smith is one of the 36 Republican members of the state legislature who signed onto a lawsuit in September 2013 against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with the conservative Goldwater Institute over the Arizona Medicaid Expansion.[3]

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act in June 2012, Brewer, a Republican who had long fought for its repeal, ultimately broke ranks with her party on the issue of Medicaid.[4] She first publicly embraced Arizona's participation in the federally controlled Medicaid expansion during her 2013 State of the State address. In addition to conceding the futility of continued opposition to Obamacare in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and Obama's re-election victory, Brewer discussed the considerable popular support for expanding patient eligibility: residents had already voted twice to make the state government provide free care for everyone up to the federal poverty line.

By June, a Medicaid expansion law had obtained passage in Arizona, despite a reluctant Republican-led state legislature. The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives responded by filing a referendum to block the Medicaid Expansion law from taking effect, but the referendum failed to collect the required 86,405 valid signatures to land on the November 2014 ballot before the September 11, 2013, deadline.[5]

The referendum option off the table, expansion opponents decided a lawsuit was the best available alternative. The suit was filed on the grounds that because the expansion would require participating hospitals to pay a set fee to the state to help compensate for future reductions in the federal subsidy, the law contains a tax and therefore its implementation under the control of the executive branch would violate the state law enforcing separation of powers. While the imposition of such a fee is an authority given to state agencies "over 80 times in the past five years,"[3] according to a Brewer spokesperson, critics insist that the fee's resemblance to a tax is too close for constitutional comfort, per Article 3, Section 22, the distribution of powers.[6]

The state's conservative interests, plus the 36 Republican members of the legislature who voted against Arizona's involvement in the federal government-controlled Medicaid reform, hoped to have expansion shut down before it officially went live Jan. 1, 2014, with eligible residents beginning to enroll as early as Oct. 1.



See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014. Jo Holt was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Steve Smith defeated Scott Bartle in the Republican primary. Smith defeated Holt in the general election.[7][8][9]

Arizona State Senate District 11, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Smith 59% 38,397
     Democratic Jo Holt 41% 26,628
Total Votes 65,025

Arizona State Senate, District 11 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Smith 69.9% 15,956
Scott Bartle 30.1% 6,863
Total Votes 22,819


See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2012

After redistricting placed him at odds with 26th District senator Al Melvin in the new 11th District, Smith opted not to run for his Senate seat again, instead announcing a run for one of two 11th District House seats.[10] He and Adam Kwasman ran unopposed in the Republican primary on August 28, 2012. He won the general election on November 6, 2012, receiving the most votes.[11][12] The Arizona House employs "bloc with partial abstention" multi-member districts, electing two state representatives per district.[13]

Arizona House of Representatives, District 11, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Smith 36.7% 44,928
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Kwasman 34.1% 41,732
     Democratic Dave Joseph 29.2% 35,707
Total Votes 122,367


See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2010

Smith ran in the 2010 election for Arizona State Senate District 23. He defeated Matt Byers in the August 24 primary election. He then defeated incumbent Democrat Rebecca Rios and Green Party candidate Matthew Shusta in the November 2 general election.[14][15]

Arizona State Senate, District 23 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Steve Smith (R) 34,568
Rebecca Rios (D) 30,361
Arizona State Senate, District 23 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Steve Smith (R) 10,818
Matt Byers (R) 3,736

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Smith is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Smith raised a total of $106,844 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2015.[16]

Steve Smith's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 Arizona State Senate, District 11 Won $38,515
2012 Arizona State House, District 11 Won $30,529
2010 Arizona State Senate, District 23 Won $37,800
Grand Total Raised $106,844


Smith won re-election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2014. During that election cycle, Smith raised a total of $38,515.
Arizona House of Representatives 2014 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Steve Smith (Arizona)'s campaign in 2014
Arizona Automobile Dealers Association$2,000
Ensio, Paavo$2,000
Ensio, Marguerite$2,000
Lambert, Carol$1,500
Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold$1,324
Total Raised in 2014$38,515
Source: Follow the Money


Smith won election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Smith raised a total of $30,529.


Smith won election to the Arizona State Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Smith raised a total of $37,800.


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

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 Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to

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


In 2014, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 13 to April 24.[17]

Legislators are scored on their stances on conservative fiscal policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on ASBA's legislative priority bills.
Legislators are scored on their stances on animals and animal protection.
Legislators are scored on their stances on secular policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on "anti-environmental" and "anti-democracy" bills.


In 2013, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 14 to June 14.[17]

Legislators are scored on their stances on conservative fiscal policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on bills related to small business.
Legislators are scored on "their support of principles of limited constitutional government."
Legislators are scored on their stances on animals and animal protection.
Legislators are scored on their stances on secular policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on "anti-environmental" and "anti-democracy" bills.



In 2014, Smith's endorsements included the following:[18]

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio
  • Sheriff Paul Babeu
  • Arizona Right To Life
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses
  • Arizona Police Association

  • National Rifle Association
  • Arizona Conservative Club
  • The Free Enterprise Club
  • Arizona Association of Realtors
  • Arizona Citizens Defense League


Smith is married and has two children.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Steve Smith News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Steve Smith AZ, "Issues," accessed October 14, 2014
  2., "Issues," accessed April 7, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arizona Republic, "Goldwater Institute sues over Arizona Medicaid law," September 12, 2013
  4. Office of the Arizona Governor, "State of the State Address," January 14, 2013
  5. Howard Fischer, Yuma Sun, "Group files referendum to block Medicaid expansion," June 19, 2013
  6. Arizona Legislature, "Arizona Constitution - Article 3, Section 22," accessed September 15, 2013
  7. Arizona Secretary of State, "Unofficial primary election results," accessed August 27, 2014
  8. Arizona Secretary of State, "2014 Primary Election," May 28, 2014
  9. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official general election candidate list," accessed September 11, 2014
  10. Maricopa Monitor, "Party over self: Smith to run for House, clearing way for Melvin," January 31, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012 (dead link)
  11. Arizona Secretary of State, "2010 Primary candidate list," accessed December 20, 2013
  12. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official 2012 Primary Results," accessed December 20, 2013
  13. Vermont Legislative Research Service, "The Pros and Cons of Multi-Member Districts," accessed July 17, 2014
  14. Arizona Secretary of State, "2010 Primary results," accessed December 20, 2013
  15. Arizona Secretary of State, "General election results," accessed December 13, 2013
  16. Follow the Money, "Smith, Steve," accessed April 24, 2015
  17. 17.0 17.1 StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 1, 2014
  18. Steve Smith AZ, "Endorsements," accessed October 14, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Al Melvin (R)
Arizona State Senate District 11
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Rebecca Rios
Arizona State Senate District 23
Succeeded by
Michele Reagan (R)