Sen. Chris Smith began his public service as a youth. He continued this service after college by serving on local boards with the City of Fort Lauderdale. In 1995 he was appointed to the City's Planning and Zoning Board. At a time of tremendous development within the City of Fort Lauderdale, Sen.Smith fought to seek a balance between the need for economic development and the rights of existing property or homeowners.
In 1998 Sen. Smith was elected to the Florida House of Representative serving the City of Fort Lauderdale and six surrounding municipalities. In his third term he was elected Democratic Leader of the Florida House of Representatives. After being term limited out of the House of Representatives, Sen. Smith was elected to the Florida Senate in 2008 representing Broward and Palm Beach County. After redistricting, Sen. Smith represented 14 municipalities in Central Broward County. In only the third year of his first term he was once again elected Democratic Leader of his chamber. This accomplishment of serving as Democratic Leader of the House and Senate has only been done by a few members of these August bodies. As Democratic Leaders, Sen. Smith once again set Democratic policy on local and statewide issues.
Sen. Smith has discussed Florida law and politics on many national and local programs such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, NPR, Jim Defede Show, Michael Putney Show and numerous other media outlets. Senator Smith has received many awards including, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) Legislative Champion of Justice, Legislator of the Year from the American Jewish Congress, Humanitarian Award from the Young Democrats and many more.
He was consistently rated by the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun Sentinel as a top legislative leader. Sen. Smith’s commitment to the community includes serving on the Board of Directors for Mount Bethal Community Development Corporation, Inc., Youth Advisor for the NAACP, Vice President for The Gold Coast Alumni Chapter of Johnson C. Smith University and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Senator Smith is a graduate of Johnson C Smith University, in Charlotte North Carolina and a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law. He is a partner with the Tripp Scott Law Firm. He is married to Desorae Giles-Smith and the proud father of two, Christopher and Christian.