Matthew Smith, a longtime 2nd District resident, announced he is seeking election to the Washington State Senate to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Randi Becker. Smith, who is running as a Republican, is challenging Ronda Litzenberger, who has also announced her candidacy. 
 “I’ve been an observer of what’s happening in Olympia for several years now,” Smith said in a press release. “As a husband, father, veteran and taxpayer, I’m just not happy with where our state is headed. Washington has so much potential, but this legislative session crystallized in my mind just how much of that potential is being squandered by the current political leadership in Olympia. I’ve always been ready to answer whenever my community or country has called, and will bring that servant-warrior mentality to the state Senate.”
 Smith joined the Marine Corps at age 17. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004, fighting with the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. He has worked for several years in the state Senate as a legislative aide and currently serves as a youth minister, according to the press release.
Smith and his wife, Megan, have been married for 15 years. They have two sons, Mason, 10, and Miles, 4, and reside in Yelm.