AUHSD Trustee Katherine H. Smith files to run for 47th District GOP primary

AUHSD Trustee Katherine H. Smith

We received a tip today from one of our pajaritos.  Katherine H. Smith, a Trustee at the Anaheim Union HIgh School District (AUHSD), was seen at the O.C. Voter Registrar’s office today, pulling papers to run for the 47th Congressional District, which is currently held by U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez.

The GOP primary for the 47th is already pretty crowded, with Assemblyman Van Tran and Quang Pham, a businessman and former U.S. Marine.  Perhaps Smith thinks they will split the Viet vote and give her a chance to prevail?

Smith was elected to a four year term in Nov. of 2008.  She got the most votes, from amongst three candidates, with over 42,000 votes, according to Smart Voter.

She also ran for Congress, in the 46th District (which is now the 47th) back in 1996, against the incumbent, Bob Dornan.  She was quoted as being angry at him because he was running for President, according to the L.A. Times.

Check out this Smith quote from the 1996 campaign:

“People want change; they’re crying for change and the party is not responding,” Smith said. “I am a fourth-generation Republican. I worked for Barry Goldwater in 1963 and 1964. The reason I am doing this is because there has been no one for me to vote for in this district.”

Smith made headlines last September when she was the sole AUHSD Trustee to vote against deferring developer fees.  “Anaheim Union trustee Katherine H. Smith cast the sole vote against the deferral plan, arguing that the high school district needs the revenue to offset costs of renting portable classrooms well before new students start showing up at local schools,” according to the O.C. Register.

Smith told me that when kids show up to school the district has to be ready with supplies, classrooms etc.  She is worried about deferring the fees as the district may not have the money to supply what the kids need. 

Smith is also worried about new affordable housing developments that will bring 2,000 apartments and condos into the district.  That will place even more stress on the district, in her opinion. 

She says the developers give a lot of money to the politicians.  That may explain why the other Trustees voted to defer the fees.

In 2002, Smith ran for California Superintendent of Education.  There were reports that liberal organizations contributed to her campaign.  She lost to Democrat Jack O’Connell, by over 500,000 votes, according to Smart Voter.

Smith opposed former AUHSD Trustee Harald Martin when he “proposed billing Mexico for the cost of educating illegal immigrants,”  according to the L.A. Times.  Smith was quoted thusly, “I just don’t feel we should put that kind of worry and onus on our kids. As adults, we have to work on these larger issues. Let the kids do their homework without the worry of an immigration officer coming and taking them.”

The Los Amigos organization returned the favor by endorsing Smith when she ran against O’Connell.

Here is Smith’s bio, from the AUHSD website:

She attended Santa Rosa Junior College, the University of Nevada at Reno and California State University at Hayward, with a major in elementary education, concurrently working on a master’s degree in statistics.

Mrs. Smith was an elementary teacher at Sherwood Academy;presidential campaign of Sen. Barry Goldwater; volunteer in the grass-roots movement for Gov. Ronald Reagan; docent at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library; a substitute teacher for the Magnolia School District; the owner and operator of an interior decorating business; lecturer for a master’s course at USC for international police officers on innovative ideas to reduce crime; lecturer on the topic at Chapman University, Long Beach State and Fullerton College; a member of the Parents’ Board at Servite High School; vice president of the substance and alcohol abuse committee at Servite; and in real estate management for almost four decades.

Mrs. Smith was a founder of Group Resolving Anti-Social Problems (GRASP), a nonprofit corporation dedicated to finding and implementing solutions to gangrelated problems. GRASP has promoted the implementation of school uniforms statewide.  She was one of eight national recipients of the George Washington Honor Medal, bestowed by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in 1994. She was also the originator and cofounder of the National Coalition for Drug Policy Change, founded in 1993 at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The coalition was successful in gaining the inclusion of the Hoover Resolution in the 1994 Federal Crime Bill. An Anaheim resident, Mrs. Smith has been married since 1963 to S. Clarke Smith, M.D. They have two sons who are USC and Chapman graduates and three grandchildren.


I spoke to Smith today.  She says she has never ran for office for anything other than the public good.  She also said she finds it hard to ask folks for money.  She says she is doing this to make a difference.

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