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Thomas S. Smith (December 14, 1917 – September 26, 2002) was an American Republican Party politician, who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1992 until his death, where he represented the 11th legislative district.[1] At the time of his death, Smith was the oldest serving member of the Assembly and was the only African American Republican in the New Jersey Legislature.[2]


He was born on December 14, 1917 and attended Howard University, majoring in education.[1]

In the assembly, he was the Deputy Speaker from 1998–2001, Majority Whip from 1996–1998 and the Assistant Majority Whip in 1996. He served in the Assembly on the Senior Issues Committee.[1]

Smith served on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission from 1995 until his death, the New Jersey Commission on Discrimination in Public Procurement and Construction in 1992 and the Monmouth County Volunteers in Probation Board of Directors in 1992. He was the Mayor of Asbury Park, New Jersey from 1989 to 1993, served on the Asbury Park Council from 1985–1989 and was Asbury Park Police Chief from 1968-1979. He served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945, attaining the rank of First Sergeant.[1]

He died on September 26, 2002.[2]


District 11 Republican County Committee members voted to fill the vacancy created by Smith's death by naming Sean T. Kean to fill the seat.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tom Smith's legislative web page at the Wayback Machine (archived November 8, 2002), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 23, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Thomas S. Smith, N.J.'s only black GOP legislator". September 28, 2002. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "Assemblyman Thomas S. Smith, the state's only black Republican legislator, died Thursday. At 84, he was the oldest member of the assembly. A cause of death was not immediately available. In April, Mr. Smith announced he would not run for a seventh term in November 2003. He said he planned to finish his two-year term and retire, ending 12 years as an assemblyman representing the district that includes Asbury Park. ..." 
  3. "Trenton Roundup", Newark Star-Ledger, October 29, 2002. Accessed August 9, 2007. "Sean T. Kean, a Monmouth County Republican Party activist from Wall Township, was sworn in yesterday as an assemblyman from the 11th District. Kean, 39, replaces Assemblyman Thomas S. Smith, who died Sept. 26 at age 84."

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