Smith Announces Candidacy for State Representative

Special to the Journal

Tristan Smith, a life-long resident in the 8th Essex District, which includes the entire Towns of Marblehead and Swampscott as well as several precincts in Lynn, has announced his candidacy for the open State Representative seat being vacated by current State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, who has accepted a new position within the Biden Administration.

Smith, who is scheduled to complete his Juris Doctor Degree from Suffolk University School of Law in May 2022, graduated from Swampscott High School in 2014.

Tristan Smith

During his time at Swampscott High, Tristan was a varsity track and field athlete, qualifying for the MIAA Divisional Meet in the 110m Hurdles his final year. He was also elected by his peers to be their student representative to the Swampscott School Committee in his senior year.

Tristan then went on to graduate from Salem State University, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science in 2018.

During his time in academia, Smith has been a consistent and forceful advocate for national and international social advocacy, heading efforts which resulted in raising tens of thousands of dollars for several organizations using the online streaming platform Twitch.

The first two, in 2015 and 2016, raised money for Thirst Project, a youth-driven organization bringing clean water to drought stricken Africa, and the final two, in 2020 and 2021, secured funds for Know Your Rights Camp, whose mission is to promote the empowerment of minority communities.

When asked about why he has chosen to seek office this year, Mr. Smith responded, “public service is a tradition in my family. The truth is I’ve been taught my entire life that government can and should matter, and that improving the lives of others does matter. To me that means things as basic as educating our kids; caring for our seniors; ensuring that our local air and water remain clean; combating the effects of climate change; providing appropriate funds for public safety; and finally, making sure the entire Eighth District receives its fair share of state funds.”

Mr. Smith went on, “I know Rep. Ehrlich successfully did all that and more during her tenure as our State Representative, and I intend to do the same as our next State Representative.”

Mr. Smith is not the first in his family to enter into politics. His father, former Democratic State Rep. Jim Smith represented Lynn serving four terms, and then ran for US Congress. His aunt Deborah Smith Walsh served on the Lynn School Committee, the Lynn City Council, and ran for the State Senate. His cousin Steve Walsh represented Lynn and Nahant as a state representative from 2005 to 2014.

Smith has been a member of the Swampscott Democratic Town Committee since he was a teenager. He has worked as a K-12 substitute teacher in the Swampscott Public Schools and last year taught constitutional law in Boston Public Schools through a fellowship program at Suffolk. He also currently serves as the head coach of boys and girls track and field and cross country at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. During his time as head coach, the teams have witnessed a revitalization in student engagement as well as accolades. Most recently, the indoor track team qualified almost 20 athletes for the MIAA Divisional Meet, up from just two in Smith’s first year coaching.

“My experiences working in schools is what really drives my passion for public service,” said Smith. “I had so many opportunities growing up. When I think about the kids I’ve taught and coached over my career, I want every kid across the Commonwealth to get those same opportunities, because they all deserve it.”

Besides the issues noted earlier, priorities for Smith would include increasing our state’s investment in public transportation; providing equitable funding for K-12 public schools and public higher education; insuring care for our veterans; and implementing criminal justice reform.

Mr. Smith continued, “I’m running to be a full-time state representative, and I’m committed to devoting my time, energy, and talents to serving the district.

Mr. Smith concluded, “Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn deserve no less.”

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