Mayor James (Jim) E. Smith
Mayor Jim Smith was born in Anaconda in 1948 to Victor and Dorothy Smith. The young family moved to Lake County, Indiana where five other children were born. The highlight of every year was the annual vacation to Montana.
In 1966 Jim came to Helena to enroll at Carroll College. He graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in History. Between 1987 and 1992 Jim took classes in Helena, earning a Masters in Public Administration from Montana State University, Bozeman in 1992.
In 1978 he began working on public policy issues, with the Montana Seniors Citizens Association and the Rocky Mountain Development Council. In 1983 Jim began working as a Lobbyist at the Montana Legislature. He has lobbied every Session since, working for a variety of human service, health care, law enforcement and local government associations and organizations.
In 1994 Jim became a co-owner of Smith and McGowan, Inc., a lobbying, management and government relations firm located in downtown Helena. The firm’s clients include: the Montana Council of Community Mental Health Centers, the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, the Montana County Attorneys Association, the American Cancer Society, and others.
Jim married Katherine Bailey Smith in 1974; they have two grown children, Jedediah who is living in Texas and Nanette who lives in Helena. Jim and Katherine are proud grandparents to a granddaughter and grandson.
For fun Jim reads, walks Helena’s many trails, hikes or canoes in Glacier, Yellowstone and Montana’s wonderful backcountry wilderness areas in the summer, cross country skis on McDonald Pass in the winter, and enjoys Last Chance Gulch in all seasons.
Jim was elected to the Helena City Commission in 1999. In 2001 he was elected Mayor of Helena. He was re-elected in 2005, 2009 and was elected to his fourth term in 2013.