Former State Rep. Steve ‘Stat’ Smith has pulled nomination papers to run as a Democrat for the state representative.
The Secretary of State’s office confirmed that Smith took out papers on Friday, April 13, with the intent to run for office.
Smith has been seen over the past weekend gathering signatures and talking with longtime supporters. Those close to the matter indicated he had gathered as many as 500 signatures over the weekend.
Smith was not immediately available for comment.
He had not filed locally by Tuesday morning, but it was believed he would be filing locally on Tuesday evening or Wednesday.
The potential entrance of Smith into the race makes what was already a competitive race between State Rep. Joe McGonagle and Candidate Gerly Adrien, a much more competitive race.
Smith brings to the table a solid block of voters that supported he and his family over the years of political life, and he is believed to be a strong contender when the votes are parsed up.
Smith was a member of the Board of Alderman in the 1990s and a member of the Common Council in the early 2000s. He once ran for mayor and lost, and ran for state representative and lost.
However, in 2006, he was elected state representative when the late State Rep. Ed Connolly passed away, vacating the seat. Smith served as state representative until 2012 when he pleaded guilty on two federal misdemeanor counts regarding voter fraud.
As part of his punishment for the scheme, he was barred from running for public office for five years.
That ran out in 2017, making him free to run once again now.