Jane H. Smith

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Jane Holland Smith​

Louisiana State Representative
for District 8 (Bossier Parish)​
In office
2000​ – 2012​
Preceded by Robert E. Barton
Succeeded by Jeff R. Thompson

Louisiana House Minority Leader​
In office
2008​ – 2012 ​
Preceded by
Succeeded by John Bel Edwards

Born January 21, 1948​
Sabine Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Wendell Scott Smith​
Children Hillary S. Garner​

Two grandchildren​

Residence Bossier City, Louisiana​
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Occupation Educator; former Bossier Parish school superintendent​
Religion Southern Baptist

Jane Holland Smith (born January 21, 1948) is a retired educator from Bossier City, Louisiana, who served from 2000 to 2012 as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.​

In 2012, Smith was appointed by then Governor Bobby Jindal as deputy secretary of the Louisiana Revenue Department, a full-time position.[1] She was subsequently named by Jindal to one of the three appointed seats on the eleven-member Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.[2]


Prior to her legislative service, which began in 2000, Smith had been the first woman in Bossier Parish to have been appointed as a high-school principal. Held that position at Haughton High School in Haughton from 1988 to 1995 and was the parish superintendent of schools from 1994 to 1999.[3] She is also the first woman ever to have been elected as a state legislator from Bossier Parish.[4]

A native of Sabine Parish in western Louisiana,[4] Smith received her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Education degrees, plus thirty additional graduate hours, from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. NSU named her a "Distinguished Alumnus" and invited her as commencement speaker at the 2001 graduation exercises. Smith also completed a course in school principalship at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport.[5]

In 1999, Smith was named the Louisiana "Superintendent of the Year" because of her development of a character education program and a technology plan considered a statewide educational model She has received recognition from the Women's Business Council, an affiliate of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. The Young Men’s Christian Association has cited her work in promoting awareness of violence against women. She procured the Advocacy Award from the American Cancer Society.[4]

Smith is married to Wendell Scott Smith (born May 27, 1958), a long-serving principal of Benton High School in the parish seat of Benton. Daughter Hillary S. Garner of Plaquemine in Iberville Parish and her husband, Eric D. Garner (both born 1974), have two children, Holland and Evan. The Smiths attend First Baptist Church in Bossier City,[4] of which Fred Lowery is the former pastor.​

As state representative

Smith was elected without opposition to her first House term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 23, 1999. Incumbent Republican Robert E. Barton of Bossier City, then an assistant to the chancellor at Bossier Parish Community College,[3] did not seek a second term but ran for the state Senate. In 2003, Smith defeated Ryan Gatti, a Moderate Republican closely allied with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, 6,999 votes (66.9 percent) to 3,456 (33.1 percent).[6] Gatti was elected in 2015 as the District 36 state senator but lost his reelection bid in 2019. In 2007, Smith defeated Republican Gary Miller, 7,508 (62.2 percent) to 4,555 (37.8 percent).[7]

Smith was a member of the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus and the Louisiana Rural Caucus. Her House committee assignments were Capital Outlay, Criminal Justice, Governmental Affairs and the tax-writing Ways and Means panel, of which she was the vice-chairman.[8] In the 2007 campaign, Smith signed a "No New Taxes" pledge.[9]

In 2004, Smith was designated “Representative of the Year” by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The following year she received the same honor from the Louisiana Association of Principals.[4] On March 27, 2007, Smith obtained the annual achievement award from the Sabine Hall of Fame, which recognizes a Sabine Parish native who moves to another area and becomes successful in a particular field. On May 4, 2007, because of a 100 percent voting record on faith and family values, Smith was named the recipient of the "Outstanding Family Advocate Award" for 2006 from the Louisiana Family Forum.[4]

Smith was a legislative proponent of health and fitness and advocated physical education in the elementary school curriculum. Then state House Speaker James Wilton "Jim" Tucker (born 1964) appointed Smith to a committee to address the needs of veterans and active-duty military personnel, an area of particular concern to the representative, considering in part the location of Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish.[10]​ ​

2011 state Senate candidacy

​ Smith was term-limited and unable to seek a fourth term in the House in the 2011 primary election. Instead, she ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican B. L. "Buddy" Shaw of Shreveport. Though carrying Governor Jindal's strong backing, Smith lost her race to fellow Republican Barrow Peacock, a businessman from Shreveport who had run third in a bid for the same seat in 2007. In the 2011 match, Peacock polled 10,331 votes (55.5 percent) to Smith's 8,295 votes (44.5 percent).[6]

Meanwhile, Republican Jeff R. Thompson, a Bossier City attorney and current judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court, was elected to succeed Smith in the District 8 House seat.[6] In 2008, Thompson ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination to succeed the retiring U.S. Representative James Otis "Jim" McCrery, a Moderate Republican. Though McCrery endorsed Thompson, the position went to another Republican, John Fleming of Minden. The seat is now held by the conservative Republican Mike Johnson.


  1. Smith takes Jindal Administration role. Bossierpress.com (January 11, 2011). Retrieved on January 30, 2012; no longer on-line..
  2. BESE Member Listing by District. bese.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on January 29, 2014; includes only current BESE members..
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stephaan Harris (November 26, 1999). After 20 years of service in Bossier Parish, Jane Smith leaves to be a state representative. Stephaan.com. Retrieved on July 18, 2009; no longer on-line..
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Jane Smith. janesmith.us. Retrieved on July 15, 2009; no longer on-line..
  5. Louisiana House of Representatives: Jane H. Smith. house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on July 15, 2009; no longer on-line..
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 22, 2011.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 20, 2007.
  8. Rep. Jane H. Smith. Votesmart.org. Retrieved on July 15, 2009.
  9. "Update: Louisiana Signers of the No-New-Taxes Pledge". atr.org (October 17, 2007). Retrieved on July 15, 2009; no longer on-line..
  10. Rep. Smith appointed to Louisiana Veterans committee. janesmith.us. Retrieved on July 15, 2009; no longer on-line..

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