“I’m Going to Win”
Princella Smith, a black Republican, wants to break new ground in Congress.
Who says you can’t run for Congress when you’re just twenty-six years old? Not Princella Smith, an ebullient woman who plans to announce this week she is entering the Republican primary in the First District of Arkansas, in the northeastern part of the state. “First of all, I want to win the primary, and then I am going to win the Congressional election,” says Princella, whom the influential website Politico has called “a rising GOP star.”
Princella hails from the small town of Wynne, Arkansas (population 8,000) where her father, John, is a minister and her mother, Sandra, is the vice-principal of Wynne High School. She’s always been interested in history and current events: “I remember when I was about four years old watching a man my dad liked on television. That man was Ronald Reagan.”
Although Princella originally wanted to be a physician, she realized while she was attending Ouachita Baptist University “that politics was the career for me.” After graduating, she worked for American Solutions for Winning the Future, a think tank founded by conservative icon Newt Gingrich. She also served as the communications director for Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana, the first person of Vietnamese descent elected to Congress. Says Princella, “He was the only Republican who voted [last year] for the health bill [backed by Democrats] and being his communications director… really was a challenging job.”
BettyConfidential caught up with Princella as she was preparing to throw her hat into the ring to ask her some questions, both political and personal.
You spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2004? How did you manage that?
“I won an MTV contest. They were trying to get young people involved. I first had to write an essay, then tape a speech and get people to vote for me. It was great. I spoke the same night as Laura Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
Why are you a Republican?
“I like Republican ideas about increasing opportunity, smaller government, and lower taxes. And my family has always been conservative about social issues. By the way, so are the people of Arkansas.”
Are you pro-life?
“I absolutely am a defender of the lives of the unborn. Of course I can understand that in the case of rape or incest… it might be difficult to force a woman to bear a child. This has never happened to me, thank God, but if it did, I believe I would choose to have the baby. Again, my beliefs are very much in line with the people of Arkansas I hope to represent, who are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.”