Sep 19, 2006

Former LU student makes bid for Congress

by Joanne Tang, News Editor
Dressed sharply in a blue suit, Nebraska state Senator Adrian Smith seems to be the all-American guy, born and raised in Gering, Neb., a town of about 7,800 residents. He came to Liberty in 1989 and spent three semesters at LU before transferring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the first former Liberty student to make a run for the United States House of Representatives.

Sunday, Sept. 17, Smith and his staff held a rally in the lobby of DeMoss, inviting people from campus and Thomas Road to meet the man who is in the race for a seat in the House. 

Dr. Ron Godwin, head of the Helms School of Government, was on hand to introduce Smith. 

Godwin described him as a “pioneer, a pathfinder for many, many more leaders like him in the days ahead.” 

Virginia Senator Steve Newman was also in attendance and praised Smith for his work in one of Newman’s campaigns. 

Smith spoke at the podium next, telling the audience his views on hot button issues such as abortion, immigration and taxes. 

“I can tell you that I am a bit concerned of our country and its direction,” he said. 

He cites abortion as one of the biggest issues he deals with. 

“When I look at the challenges we face in legislature, pro-life is so important. We have to forge ahead and keep the priorities out there,” he said. 

As a high school senior, Smith came to Liberty for College for a Weekend. Though he had never lived in Virginia before, he made the step to attend college at Liberty. He went with Light Ministries on a missions trip to Brazil and worked for the CSER office. After his first year, he had a desire to work in his state government, but in order to become a page in local legislature, students had to attend college in Nebraska. 

When he graduated, he entered into the political arena, as a member of the Gering City Council. 

In 2000, after four years with the city council, Smith ran in the Nebraska Unicameral and won. Now he is placing his hat into the race for the House, representing the 3rd District. 

Pastor Jonathan Falwell also lauded Smith for his track record and his stance on important and controversial issues. 

“That’s the kind of person we need in congress,” he said. “We need people who stand up and say ‘this is what I believe’ and will fight for what they believe.” 

He also said his father, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, had the desire to “affect the culture” and that “one day, he wanted to send a Liberty student to congress.”

“I hope to be in the House for a good long time,” Smith said before the gathering. “I want to get elected and stay there until retirement.” 

He said he would want to make a positive impact for his state and his country. As a fourth-generation Nebraskan, Smith also would like Liberty students from his state to take an interest in state issues.
“There are so many callings for different people, but we need good business people, good teachers, farmers and ranchers to use innovative ideas that they learned from being at school (at Liberty),” he said. 

As he gears up for the elections in November, there is much at stake. 

“I feel that I can make a difference and that is why I am running,” he said. 

Contact Joanne Tang at

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