State Rep. Kent Smith was first elected to serve the people of the 8th Ohio House District in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016, 2018 and 2020. He joined the Ohio House of Representatives after serving Euclid, Ohio as a Member of the Euclid Board of Education from 2002 – 2013. In his 12 years on the Euclid School Board, Rep. Smith never missed a meeting. As a Euclid School Board Member, he was a four-time winner of the “Award of Achievement” which is awarded annually by the Ohio School Boards Association to less than three percent of all School Board Members in Ohio.
Smith graduated from Miami University in 1988 and earned his Master of Science in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University in 2001. His Master’s Degree thesis - which was written in 2001 - was about the emerging threat of Predatory Lending and the Subprime Market. He also co-authored the first Predatory Lending Report by Policy Matters Ohio in 2002. Following his master’s degree studies, he was a PhD student at Cleveland State University in Economic Development.
In his current term (2021-2022) in the Ohio House, he is the Ranking Member on the Public Utilities committee. He also serves on the Higher Education and Career Readiness and Technology and Innovation Committees.
He has served as the Ranking Member on the Economic & Workforce Development committee (131st GA) and the Financial Institutions and Housing and Urban Development committee (132nd GA) and the Financial Institutions committee and the Public Utilities committee in the 133rd GA. While serving in the Ohio House, he has also served on the Education, Commerce and Labor and Rules & Reference committees.
Representative Smith holds four core operating principles that help guide his work as a State Representative. They are: 1. We all do better, when we all do better. 2. All of Ohio’s children today are all of Ohio’s future tomorrow. 3. Ohio’s economy will grow from equal parts innovation and opportunity. And 4. I am going to show up, do the work and fight for those who sent me to Columbus. As an example of the fourth principal, during the 133rd General Assembly, there were 421 votes cast on the Ohio House Floor. Rep. Smith was present and cast his vote on behalf of the 8th House District for every single vote.
In 2017, he was one of three Ohio State Reps, and one of 37 overall, to receive a fellowship for the 2017 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development conducted by the Council of State Governments (CSG) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Since 2019, Rep. Smith has served on the Advisory Board for Rust Belt Rising where he is a Resident Economic Expert. Additionally, Smith is an active member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL), currently serving as the Ohio State Lead for NCEL – a role he occupied in both 2020 and 2018. He also serves on three multi-state legislative caucuses: CSG’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Labor and Economic Development Standing Committee and the NCSL Task Force on Cyber Security.
Since 2006, Representative Smith has been the head of the Euclid Democratic Party – a position called the Euclid City Democrat Leader. In addition, he works as a roller derby announcer for both Burning River Roller Derby in Cleveland and The Chicago Outfit. He joined Burning River in 2008 and The Chicago Outfit in 2010. He has announced roller derby for the past 12 years and has called hundreds of bouts across the Midwest. In 2018, he was one of 15 American roller derby voices selected to help announce the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, England.
Prior to joining the Ohio General Assembly, Representative Smith worked for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, which included an assignment with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and at four Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations.
He is eager to use his unique perspective and professional experience to improve the quality of life for the people of the 8th Ohio House District and working families across the state.