Born in Tacoma, Washington, he attended Fordham University and completed a Law degree at the University of Washington. He served in the Washington State Senate from 1991 to 1996. He was just twenty-five years old at the time of his election, making him the youngest State Senator in the country. He was elected to the House in 1996, and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House International Relations Committee.
Smith is running for his fifth term in the election to be held on 2 November2004.