Jimmy Lee Smithson, known as Jim L. Smithson (born September 15, 1943), is a conservative Republican former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives who is remembered for cosponsoring legislation in his state to allow generic substitution of prescription medications. A registered pharmacist from Marshall, the seat of Searcy County in northwestern Arkansas, Smithson served in the House from January 1, 1975, to December 31, 1984. He represented then District 43, created in 1970, which included his own Searcy, Marion, and a part of Baxter counties. Later the district was numbered 40 and then 39.

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  • Jimmy Lee Smithson, known as Jim L. Smithson (born September 15, 1943), is a conservative Republican former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives who is remembered for cosponsoring legislation in his state to allow generic substitution of prescription medications. A registered pharmacist from Marshall, the seat of Searcy County in northwestern Arkansas, Smithson served in the House from January 1, 1975, to December 31, 1984. He represented then District 43, created in 1970, which included his own Searcy, Marion, and a part of Baxter counties. Later the district was numbered 40 and then 39. Smithson also cosponsored the bill to allow optometrists to use diagnostic drugs to dilate the pupils of patients' eyes. Ophthalmologists strongly objected, but the measure passed. Smithson was born in Marshall to Jack Smithson (1908–1973) and the former Ola Francis (1912–2003). In 1960, he graduated from Marshall High School. In 1971, he obtained his pharmacy degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (then Northeastern Louisiana University). For a time in the early 1970s he had a pharmacy in Marshall. From 1981-2006, Smithson was a pharmacist at Jefferson Regional Hospital in Pine Bluff. Divorced from Beverly Smithson (born 1949). He has two daughters, Kimberly Ragland of Marshall and Kristie Ragland of Conway, and four grandchildren. Never a runaway winner in his House district, Smithson in his first election in 1974 only narrowly unseated the Democratic incumbent Claude M. Wade (January 7, 1918 – December 13, 2001) of Yellville, the seat of Marion County. His closest contest was in 1982, when he defeated—by forty-three votes -- Billy Joe Purdom (born ca. 1948), a Democrat also from Yellville, who would ultimately succeed him in the seat. Purdom was strongly supported by future U.S. President Bill Clinton, who staged a gubernatorial comeback that year. Smithson did not seek a sixth term in the legislature in 1984; instead he ran unsuccessfully for county judge of Searcy County. Purdom was subsequently term-limited, and the seat went to the Republican Roy Ragland of Marshall. Smithson once made an issue of the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve Board, established by the United States Congress in 1913. At the request of several conservative organizations in his district, Smithson called a committee hearing to allow opponents of the Federal Reserve to air their objections. However, he lacked the votes to take the matter to the House floor. Smithson also tried to prevent law enforcement officers from establishing "speed traps" during the era of the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit. He introduced a bill, borrowing from the example of Nevada, to allow citations beyond 55 m.p.h. to be given for "wasting energy", rather than for actual "speeding". The distinction would have kept speeding violations off insurance records. Arkansas newspapers editorialized against Smithson's bill by claiming that it would cause motorists not to take speed limits seriously. Smithson's GOP colleagues included Carolyn Pollan of Fort Smith, C. W. Melson of Johnson County, Richard L. Barclay of Rogers, Jerry King of Greenwood, Jerry E. Hinshaw of Springdale, and Judy Petty Wolf of Little Rock. After retiring from Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Smithson returned to Marshall full-time and once again became involved in politics. He was elected Mayor of Marshall in November 2010 and worked alongside of his former wife, Beverly, the city recorder/treasurer until her retirement in 2012 because of health reasons. (en)
dbo:almaMater
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  • 1943-09-15 (xsd:date)
  • 1943-9-15
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dbo:occupation
dbo:office
  • Arkansas State Representative from Searcy and Baxter counties
dbo:party
dbo:residence
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  • 12472870 (xsd:integer)
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  • 737333406 (xsd:integer)
dbp:after
dbp:before
dbp:children
  • Kimberly Ragland
  • Kristie Ragland
dbp:preceded
  • Claude M. Wade
dbp:spouse
  • Divorced from Beverly Smithson
dbp:succeeded
  • Billy Joe Purdom
dbp:termEnd
  • 1984 (xsd:integer)
dbp:termStart
  • 1975 (xsd:integer)
dbp:title
  • Arkansas State Representative from then District 43 (Searcy, Marion, and Baxter counties) Jimmy Lee Smithson
dbp:years
  • 1974 (xsd:integer)
dct:description
  • American politician (en)
dct:subject
http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
rdf:type
rdfs:comment
  • Jimmy Lee Smithson, known as Jim L. Smithson (born September 15, 1943), is a conservative Republican former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives who is remembered for cosponsoring legislation in his state to allow generic substitution of prescription medications. A registered pharmacist from Marshall, the seat of Searcy County in northwestern Arkansas, Smithson served in the House from January 1, 1975, to December 31, 1984. He represented then District 43, created in 1970, which included his own Searcy, Marion, and a part of Baxter counties. Later the district was numbered 40 and then 39. (en)
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  • Jim L. Smithson (en)
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  • Jim L. Smithson (en)
  • Jimmy Lee Smithson (en)
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