“Alabama District 3, the 2014 Election for U.S. Congress”
J.T. Smith is the (D) Challenger . . . To Incumbent (R) Congressman Mike Rogers
By, Jays Jewels
Jesse T. Smith, Veteran of the Bosnia NATO intervention, and Iraq War served with honor and distinction, proudly wearing the uniform of the United States military. After graduating from High School in three years, he enlisted in the United States Army in March 1995. Smith is running as the (D) Party challenger to incumbent (R) Congressman Mike Rogers, in District 3 of Alabama.
However, not all has gone well for the political newcomer. He and his campaign were subject to harsh criticism for remarks made back in September of this election year. According to conservative media including Fox News & others, Smith reportedly tweeted on Sept. 3, “The Republican Party in the U.S. is worse than ISIS.” Later the same month, (he was attacked by Right Wing media), for statements regarding Saddam Hussein. Smith quoted as having said, “Saddam was a tyrant who was needed in that region.”
The real problem for him is not so much that he did or did not make outlandish statements, as charged by critics. The fact is that the remarks, taken out of context, resulted in his intended message not coming across as intended. Events such as these are common for inexperienced challengers on the political campaign trail. Add this to the benefits of his GOP opponent’s incumbency and that campaign’s financial power; Mr. Smith finds himself in a very tough fight.
Is J.T. Smith a viable candidate, and should he win, will he provide improvements for his District and the next U.S. Congress? The answers to those questions demand more than casting a negative light on political gaffes – even if they make headlines. Instead, in keeping with a non-partisan approach, let us examine exactly who J.T. Smith is, and how he compares to (R) Mike Rogers.
Jesse T. Smith served two tours in Bosnia supporting both Operations’ Joint Endeavor & Joint Guard. Subsequent to successful completion of those assignments, he served two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I and III. Inducted into the Sergeant A.L. Murphy Leadership Club in 2003; an achievement bestowed upon the top 2% of Enlisted Army leaders. On December 1, 2008, after serving nearly 14 years on active duty, he received an honorable discharge from the military.
His career path is a continuation of serving the nation. At the Department of the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center he served as an Accident Investigator (Fatality Division) & Tactical Occupational Safety & Health Manager for the Army Brigade Combat Teams.
The tradition of service extends to his family; he is married to U.S. Army Captain Carla Smith and of their children: Darius, Jesse II, Latiffany Mykia (Specialist, U.S. Army), Jermonte (Petty Officer, U.S. Navy).
Since candidate Smith has never held public office, we cannot examine his voting record(s). Instead, the following are primary examples of policy he supports through his public statements, beginning with the most recent:
- On Oct 22, he cited alarming numbers of Veteran suicides & made the connection to the current 75 days wait time for VA services in his District, AL 3.
- The previous day of Oct. 21 marked his continued support for Women’s Reproductive Rights and Equal Pay Rights.
- One day earlier, on Oct. 20 Smith sustained his consistent support for increasing the minimum wage & ending policies he referred to as “corporate welfare.” The following “graphic” appeared on his twitter page, apparently employed to spark excitement among supporters . . .