Republican congressman enters 30th year in office starting in May

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Congressmen Lamar Smith speaks to members of College Republicans on Feb. 15. Smith was elected for his 15th term representing the 21st Congressional District of Texas winning 57 percent of the vote.
Photo Credit: Gabriel Lopez | Daily Texan Staff

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith was elected for his 15th term representing the 21st Congressional District of Texas last night. 

Smith won 57 percent of the vote, beating out Democratic candidate Tom Wakely, Libertarian candidate Mark Loewe and Green Party candidate Tony Diaz according to the AP. 

The Daily Texan was not able to reach Smith at the time this article was published.  

The 21st Congressional District has a population of about 700,000 and covers areas in San Antonio, Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

“People know him and like him,” Andy Hogue, Travis County Republican Party communications director, said prior to the election at the TCRP watch party. “Remember a lot of local politics is name ID, not so much your agenda or what people dug up on you. It’s simply about, ‘Do I recognize this name, do I trust this name?’ Lamar has been around for a long time and I think Smith will be in Washington for a long time to come.” 

Smith also serves as the chairman of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which oversees the following federal agencies: Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The committee is in charge of a $40 billion budget, which mainly goes to research and development, according to Smith’s website.

Smith also currently serves on the US House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.

In May, Smith endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump because he said while he didn’t entirely agree with his policies, his presidency would be better than the alternative.

“We can embrace his policies even if we grimace at his past personal lifestyle or some of his public comment,” Smith said in a statement. “We need to become committed, even enthusiastic backers for many reasons.”

At the time this article was published the president elect had not been announced.

The race was called with 81 percent of precincts reporting at press time.