Students with politicians as parents

Out of the thousands of government employees, there lies a Red Knight connection.


Lauren Beh

The Smith siblings have been involved with their father’s political career, and are interested in pursuing a similar career.

Nathanael Ashton-Piper, Staff Writer

Dennis Smith represents district 34B in the Minnesota House of Representatives and is the father of BSM senior Lillian Smith and sophomore Buchanan Smith.

As a member of the house, Mr. Smith is tasked with not only keeping the people of his district happy, but also keeping in mind what’s best to advance Minnesota’s interests. “His day-to-day agenda consists of committee meetings at the capitol in St. Paul. His party also holds caucuses, and then there’s floor sessions, where both sides meet to vote on bills,” Lillian said.

Mr. Smith is currently in his second two-year term, but as a freshman representative, he set a new record. “In his first term, he authored nineteen bills that passed to become laws,” Lillian said.

I’ve learned a lot from my dad’s role in politics, and I’m definitely interested in working in a similar setting.

— Lillian Smith

“That’s the most ever for the first term of anyone in the [Minnesota] House of Representatives,” Buchanan confirmed.

Lillian and Buchanan find life as kids of a House member very interesting and involved, and with members of the House are up for reelection every two years, there’s not much of a break from campaigning. “We play a part in the whole campaign process. We go door-knocking, hold rallies and parades, and handout stickers during campaign season. On the postcards that get sent out on behalf of my dad, there’s a picture of all of us: my dad, my mom, Buchanan, our dog and me,” Lillian said. 

Both Lillian and Buchanan have been awarded opportunities to sit in on meetings and even meet some of Minnesota’s prominent politicians. “We’ve attended committee meetings and joint sessions, and in the process we’ve met Governor Mark Dayton, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, and [US House] Representative Erik Paulsen,” Buchanan said.

Few get to see what the people in our government do first-hand, so naturally, exposure to such a profession may trigger a passion for it. “I’ve learned a lot from my dad’s role in politics, and I’m definitely interested in working in a similar setting,” Lillian said.

“I’ve learned a lot more about the process and how the Constitution is applied in creating laws; it’s been very interesting. I’m not interested in exactly what my dad is doing, but rather something else in the political spectrum,” Buchanan said.