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Debbie Smith

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Debbie Smith
Nevada State Senate District 13
In office
February 4, 2013 - present
Term ends
November 9, 2016
Years in position 2
Base salary$146.29/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limits3 terms (12 years)
Prior offices
Nevada State Assembly District 30
2001 - 2002, 2005 - 2012
Date of birth1956
ProfessionBenefits Information Representative, Operating Engineers
Office website
Campaign website
Debbie Smith (b. 1956) is a Democratic member of the Nevada State Senate, representing District 13 since February 4, 2013. She serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. Smith is a former member of the Nevada Assembly, representing the 30th District from 2005 to 2012; she previously served from 2001 to 2002. She left the Assembly after serving as Speaker Pro Tempore.

Smith has served as a benefits information representative for the Operating Engineers since 1981. She and her husband, Greg, have four children: Olivia, David, Ian and Erin.

Committee assignments


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

Nevada Committee Assignments, 2013
Health and Human Services, Vice Chair
Revenue and Economic Development


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


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Smith served on these committees:


State accountability

Smith sponsored a bill that aimed to increase transparency and accountability in state contracting. It passed the Assembly by a deadline in late April 2011, which sent it to the Senate for consideration.

“In these times of economic and budgetary challenges, it is more critical than ever that we take every step possible to use taxpayer revenue effectively, save money, and improve state services,” Smith said. “Bringing state contracting out into the open for all to see and establishing a cooling off period for state employees are great steps forward for accomplishing those goals.”

The bill, AB240, changes the definition of “consultant” to make sure the state contracting process is transparent and state agencies are held accountable for the contracts they award. The legislation would help prevent state contractors from receiving contracts in excess of what can be done in-house by state employees. AB240 would also extend the cooling off period before a retired state employee could contract with the state to two years.

This bill would explicitly permit auditing of all contracts in which persons are employed by the state.[1]

Expenditure disclosure

In February 2012, Las Vegas Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon wrote a series of stories detailing the failure by several Democratic legislators to disclose how they spent portions of their campaign money to help pay for expenditures. Damon's first story described how three Assembly Democrats -- Debbie Smith, David Bobzien, and Lucy Flores -- failed to report the expenditure of campaign funds used to pay for rent and living expenses during legislative sessions. The legislators were instructed by the Assembly Democrat's lawyer that they did not have to report spending on expenses related to their public office.[2][3][4]

After Damon's initial report, Assembly Democrats Marcus Conklin, Richard Daly, Peggy Pierce, and Marilyn Dondero-Loop came forward to admit that they had also failed to report expenses after getting the same legal advice. The six lawmakers filed new expense reports that detailed nearly $45,000 in campaign funds that were spent on living expenses such as rent, electronics, house cleaning and supplies, groceries, lunches, and dinners. Nevada legislators are paid a $736/month housing allowance during legislative session if they live more than 50 miles from Carson City. In addition, all legislatures receive $154 per diem during legislative session.[2][3][4]

Martin Dean Dupalo, president of the Nevada Center for Public Ethics, wrote an op-ed piece in the Las Vegas Sun about the failed disclosures. He described the situation as "a purposeful act of withholding mandated public information that was uncovered by a journalist—not reported as part of a broader discussion between legislators and the executive branch, or much less the public."[2][3][4]



See also: Nevada State Senate elections, 2012

Smith ran in the 2012 election for Nevada State Senate, District 13. Smith ran unopposed in the June 12 primary election and defeated Kathy Martin (R) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[5][6][7][8]

Nevada State Senate, District 13, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDebbie Smith 64.7% 25,975
     Republican Kathy Martin 35.3% 14,151
Total Votes 40,126


Due to redistricting, many Nevada districts saw dramatic shifts in their boundary lines. Smith's District 30 was no exception. She stated, "About 65 percent of my district is new to me. That's seems to be about average. Some are as high as 80 percent".[9]


See also: Nevada State Assembly elections, 2010

On November 2, 2010 Smith won election to the Nevada House of Representatives. She did not have any opposition in the June 8 primary and defeated Kathy Martin in the general election.

Nevada House of Representatives, District 30 General election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Debbie Smith (D) 6,540
Kathy Martin (R) 4,024


On November 4, 2008, Smith won re-election to the District 30 Seat in the Nevada Assembly, defeating opponents Trent Baldwin and Ruth Gillings.[10]

Smith raised $172,489 for her campaign.[11]

Nevada State Assembly, District 30 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Debbie Smith (D) 9,425 65.28%
Trent Baldwin 4,137 28.65%
Ruth Gillings 876 6.07%

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, a year in which Smith was up for re-election, she collected $318,821 in donations.[12]

Her largest contributors in 2010 were:

Nevada House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Debbie Smith's campaign in 2010
Operating Engineers Local 3$10,000
Reel Pac$7,500
Boyd Gaming$7,000
Nevada Association Of Realtors$6,500
Nevada Energy$6,000
Total Raised in 2010 $318,821


Listed below are the five largest contributors to Debbie Smith's 2008 campaign.

Donor Amount
Nevada State Education Association $10,000
Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas $5,000
Sierra Pacific Power $5,000
Boyd Gaming $5,000
MGM Mirage $5,000


Nevada Policy Research Institute

See also: Nevada Policy Research Institute's Legislative Session Review & Report Card

The Nevada Policy Research Institute, a Nevada-based conservative-libertarian think tank, releases a "Legislative Report Card" evaluating members of the Nevada State Legislature on "each lawmaker's voting record on legislation impacting the degree of economic freedom and education reform." Bills determined by the Institute to be of greater significance are weighted accordingly. According to the Institute, "a legislator with a score above 50 is considered to be an ally of economic liberty".[13]


Smith received a score of 32.98 percent in the 2011 report card, ranking 38th out of all 63 Nevada State Legislature members.[13]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sheila Leslie (D)
Nevada State Senate District 13
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nevada State Assembly District 30
Succeeded by
Michael Sprinkle (D)