After serving for nearly a half-century in the Georgia General Assembly, a former Democrat State House Representative has been appointed by President Joe Biden to become the United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“Calvin Smyre has served for 48 years as an elected Representative in the Georgia State Assembly, and was Chairman of the Democratic Caucus within the Assembly for over a decade and still serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Caucus,” the White House said in an announcement of Calvin Smyre’s (D-District 135) appointment. “He is the ‘Dean’ of the Georgia House of Representatives and serves on the Appropriations, Rules, and Higher Education Committees. Smyre is President Emeritus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), and a member of the National Conference of State Legislators.”
The announcement also noted that during his time as a State Representative, which is a part-time job, Smyre served as a high-level executive for the financial services company Synovus.
On April 4, Smyre announced that he would resign from the post that he held for nearly five decades, months after he was initially tapped to be the United States Ambassador to The Dominican Republic.
“After some conversations, it was decided he’d be a better fit for the Bahamas,” Chris Meager, the White House Deputy Press Secretary, reportedly told The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
“Rep. Smyre has a distinguished legislative record, which includes authoring the legislation making Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a state holiday and legislation creating the historic Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons,” says Smyre’s legislative biography. “He was also instrumental and co-sponsor of the historic legislation (House Bill 16) creating a new Georgia State Flag.”
He was first elected at the age of 26 in 1974, then the General Assembly’s youngest member.
Before his time in the Georgia House, Smyre was a community organizer who graduated from Fort Valley State University with a degree in Business Management.
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