Preston Smith is a republcian candidate for State Attorney General in Georgia. He turned to that post because his judicial ambitions were frustrated. According to a July 5, 2005 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith is revealed as unusually anxious to escape the Georgia General Assembly for a Georgia judicial appointment. In a letter from Smith to Georgia Republican Governor Sonny Perdue, obtained by the Rome News-Tribune through the Georgia Open Records Act, Smith said that, "although I have truly appreciated the honor of serving, I have begun evaluating the best way for me to continue serving in a more stable environment." Does stable environment mean an environment in which his behavior is less scrutinized by his constituents? Smith expressed interest in appointment to the Superior Court in Rome, appointment to the State Board of Workers' Compensation or even appointment to the Cherokee Judicial District. If he fails to win the office of Attorney General he can always run against the Republican Member of the U.S. House for the 11th Congressional District, Dr. Phil Gingrey, who may be vulnerable as a Roman Catholic in a largely Evangelcial Protestant District.
Before his bid for state-wide ofice, Smith served as a state senator elected from District 52 of Georgia, where he displayed a talent for self-promotion that was especailly effective with the less discerning white voters. Smith earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Southern Baptist Convention affiliated Baylor University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia before turning to electoral politics.
Smith won the Republican nomination in 2002 and then defeated the Democrat, Senator Richard Marable, winning 16,957 votes (54.2%) to 14,329 votes (45.8%). Smith effectively mobilized white voters in his majority white North Georgia mountain district using the social issues of the Christian Right.
Smith is a member of the Board of Directors for Summit Ministries, an organization dedicated to preventing Christian youth from losing their faith while in college or university to Darwinism, naturalism, pluralism, relativism, "and many others.". The list doesn't explicitly include The Enlightenment but it is there by implication.
- "I can say, and I guess this is the key point, that I have not dated anyone that was under my employ." Comment responding to accusations that he had an extramartial affair with a former staffer in 2004. The woman in question received her last payment from Smith's office in December 2003. Source: n.a. "Smith: Timing is Political: GOP Attorney General Candidate Responds to Reports About Affair." Rome News-Tribune. July 30, 2010. p. A1.
As of March 31, 2006 he reported having $165,299.02 in his 2006 campaign warchest.
- Tom Baxter & Jim Galloway, "Perdue Persuasive with Restless Senator," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 5, 2005.
- Diane Wagner, "Reports Detail Election Funds," Rome-News Tribune, April 8, 2006.
- n.a. "Smith: Timing is Political: GOP Attorney General Candidate Responds to Reports About Affair." Rome News-Tribune. July 30, 2010. p. A1.