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Gordon Smith

Gordon Harold Smith (born May 25, 1952) is a United States Senator from Oregon. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a member of the Udall political dynasty, being a cousin of congressmen Mo and Stuart Udall. Smith was born in Pendleton, Oregon.

Smith's family moved to Bethesda, Maryland when he was a child. After graduating high school he went on a two-year mission for his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to New Zealand. He then went to college and became an attorney in New Mexico and Arizona, but moved back to Oregon in the 1980s and became director of a frozen foods company. He entered politics and was elected to the Oregon state senate in 1992 and became president of that body in 1995. Later in 1995, he ran in a special election for a senate seat vacated by the resignation of Bob Packwood, but was defeated in that election in January 1996 by congressman Ron Wyden. He was able to run for the senate again later that year, however, when Mark Hatfield announced his retirement and Smith became the Republican candidate for the normal November elections. This time he won, and ended up serving as a colleague with his former opponent, Ron Wyden. Smith also achieved political distinction by being the first person to run for the senate twice in one year. He was reelected in 2002. In 2003, he experienced a personal tragedy when his son, Garrett, a college culinary arts major, committed suicide.