Smith lauded for 32 years in U.S. House

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U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith will now have more time for family, local advocacy and tennis as he bids farewell to a three-decade-plus career in Congress. Smith’s career began when Republicans were scarce in Texas and stretched to a time when they dominated state politics.

Whether or not one agreed with his policies, Smith was always exceedingly kind, and that speaks volumes in today’s political atmosphere.

Smith also always seemed to represent his conservative constituents in his district which stretches from Northern San Antonio, to West Austin and includes much of the Hill Country west of I-35. His replacement will be Chip Roy, who won the general election race in November.

In his farewell speech, Smith stated, “Politics comes from the Greek word ‘politiká,’ meaning citizens. And they are the source of our country’s strength.

“What I remember most, what was especially meaningful, what made me feel fortunate were the colleagues I served with, the people I worked with and the constituents we helped.”

Smith also mentioned the time that Congressmen spend for public service, leaving families behind and spending extra hours in transit to Washington. He thanked his constituents for “trusting me to represent you all these years.”

As Congress grew more partisan, Smith definitely battled for his beliefs. Some criticism of him was fair.

But he should be saluted for 30-plus years of achievement. He gave young engineering students in Fredericksburg a thrill when he facilitated a live video link with astronauts on the space station.

As this gentleman returns home, we thank him for his service. — K.E.C.