Preston Smith

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Preston Smith
Preston Smith.jpg
Georgia State Senate - District 52
Former member
Term in office began
2003
Term in office ended
2010
Political party Republican
Profession Attorney
Preston Smith was a Republican member of the Georgia State Senate, representing the state's 52nd senate district from 2003-2010. On April 26, 2010, he announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, the seat that was vacated by Democrat Thurbert E. Baker who is running for governor. [1] He lost the nomination to Samuel S. Olens.

Smith is a past Governor Appointed Administrative Floor Leader in the Senate.

Smith was Minister of Students for West Rome Baptist Church. He was Co-Founder/Director/Vice President of Sentinel Communications, Incorporated. He is a past Host of the "Preston Smith Live" Radio Talk Show. He is also past Adjunct Instructor for Floyd College. He is currently an attorney for Cox, Byington, Corwing, Niedrach, Atkins, Smith and Perkins, Professional Company.

  • Bachelor's degree, Baylor University in management and corporate communications
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Georgia School of Law

Committee assignments

State Senator Smith currently serves on the following legislative committees:

Controversies

Chairmanship stripped

In January of 2010, in an effort to help lower the deficit that the state would incur in the coming year, Republican Governor Sonny Perdue called for a "hospital provider fee" in his 2010 budget proposal presented to both houses of the Georgia General Assembly.[3] This fee would place a 1.6 percent tax on "net patient revenue," the amount of adjustments and discounts given to certain health care plans and the government, which are taken out a patient's hospital bill. The governor's proposal suggests that the tax would generate $297.8 million for the fiscal year, which "would [then] allow the state to draw down federal money to support Medicaid at a ratio of three federal dollars for every one in state." [4]

Opponents of the proposal argued that while revenue generated by the "fee" would unquestionably flow to certain health care providers, conversely it would also be diverted from others. Specifically, "hospitals, doctors, dentists and insurance companies that serve a higher percentage of Medicaid patients would benefit" from the tax. [4] That, however, applies to only thirty-nine hospitals across the state - with another thirty-nine breaking just about even. The area of concern is the eighty-four hospitals that will lose money as a result of this fee. The one hospital hurt the most by this is Atlanta trauma facility Grady Memorial Hospital, which stands to lose $12.5 million a year. Don Faulk, President and CEO of the Medical Center of Central Georgia, argues that the tax unfairly targets individuals who have taken the responsibility to purchase health insurance.

Preston Smith for Attorney General Campaign logo

Six days after House Bill 307 (HB 307), which imposed the new fee on hospitals, had passed through the Georgia State House of Representatives on Friday, March 26, 2010, it came before the State Senate for a vote. Smith voted against the measure, noting that he had "promised his constituents that he would never raise taxes." [5] Regardless, the bill passed the upper house later that evening by a margin of 31 to 15. [6]

Not long after the State Senate adopted the measure, Smith was ousted from his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee. Speaking from the Senate well on Monday, April 12, the Georgia State Senator said that his being stripped of his position was "retribution for my refusal to go along with the lieutenant governor and the rest of the Senate Republicans and vote for a tax increase." [5] He then went on to accuse Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle are using the State Senate Majority Leader and the Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams to call for a motion for a "caucus position" and to threaten the chairmanships of those who refused to play along.

Other roles

  • Board of Directors, Summit Ministries
  • Life Member, American-Swiss Foundation
  • Life Member, Lawyers Foundation of Georgia
  • Member, Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Rome Rotary Club
  • Member, Young Men's Christian Association
  • Past Board Member, DisABILITY Link
  • Past Board Member, Georgia Sexual Assault Center
  • Supporter, Crisis Pregnancy Center

Campaign contributions

2008

According to Follow the Money, Smith raised $83,881 in 2008 for his state senatorial campaign. [7]

Listed below are the top five contributors:

Donor Amount
Mag Mutual Insurance $4,000
Georgia Medical Association $4,000
Georgia Society of Ophthalmology $3,000
Georgia Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers $2,800
Georgia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians $2,500

Elections

2010

See also: Georgia Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary [8]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Samuel S. Olens 39.9% [9]
     Republican Party Preston Smith 30.6%
     Republican Party Max Wood 29.5%
Total Votes 576,492
2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary Run-Off [10]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Samuel S. Olens 58.9%
     Republican Party Preston Smith 41.1%
Total Votes 508,853

2008

2006

2006 Race for Georgia State Senate, District 52 - General Election [14]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Preson Smith (R) 63.6%
Jerry Wood (D) 36.4%
Total votes 32,470

2004

2004 Race for Georgia State Senate, District 52 - General Election [16]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Preson Smith (R) 63.9%
George Pullen (D) 36.1%
Total votes 50,068

2002

2002 Race for Georgia State Senate, District 52 - Republican Primary [17]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Preson Smith (R) 63.5%
Bill Kelley (R) 36.5%
Total votes 6,812
2002 Race for Georgia State Senate, District 52 - General Election [18]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Preson Smith (R) 54.2%
Dick Marable (D) 45.8%
Total votes 31,286

Contact information

Preston Smith for Attorney General Campaign logo

Capitol Address:
301-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334

Phone: 404-656-0034
Fax: 404-463-4161
E-mail: preston.smith@senate.ga.gov

District Address:
Post Office Box 1957
Rome, GA 30162

Phone: (706) 295-9000

Campaign Address:
Preston Smith for Attorney General
Post Office Box 1957
Rome, GA 30162-1957

E-mail: Preston@PrestonSmith.org

External links

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Suggest a link

References

Georgia
  1. Rome News-Tribune "Preston Smith to seek attorney general seat, could rock other races" 26 April, 2010
  2. Georgia State Senate - List of Standing Committees
  3. The Chattanooga Times Free Press "'Bed tax' eyed to plug Georgia Medicaid hole" 22 Jan. 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 Macon.com "Ga. lawmakers try to avoid hospital tax" 26 Jan. 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Preston Smith out as judiciary chair, Seabaugh gives up Whip over hospital vote" 12 April, 2010
  6. Georgia General Assembly - HB 307
  7. Follow the Money - Campaign Contributions for Preston Smith, 2008
  8. Georgia Secretary of State - 2010 Republican Attorney General Primary Election Results
  9. Even though Sam Olens received the most votes, he failed to receive over fifty percent of those votes required by Georgia state law. A run-off election between the top two vote recipients, therefore, was required to decide who went on to the general election.
  10. Georgia Secretary of State - 2010 Republican Attorney General Primary Election Results
  11. Georgia Secretary of State - 2008 Primary Election Results
  12. Georgia Secretary of State - 2008 General Election Results
  13. Georgia Secretary of State - 2006 Primary Election Results
  14. Georgia Secretary of State - 2006 General Election Results
  15. Georgia Secretary of State - 2004 Primary Election Results
  16. Georgia Secretary of State - 2004 General Election Results
  17. Georgia Secretary of State - 2002 Primary Election Results
  18. Georgia Secretary of State - 2002 General Election Results


Political offices
Preceded by
-
Georgia Senate - District 52
2003–2011
Succeeded by
Barry Loudermilk