Susan Marie Smith was born the fifth child of nine, to a blended family from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Susan was always surrounded by extended family and many good friends. However during the Vietnam War, her two older brothers enlisted as Marines and many of her friends and family were drafted. The number of funerals during this time was life-changing, and her family was forever impacted.
Subsequently, Susan entered Ball State University to study architecture but eventually graduated in Urban and Regional Studies. Susan worked for the City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development, until she moved to Pasadena, California, where she worked in the same capacity.
After several years in California, Susan tried her hand at real estate development, but construction loans were difficult to obtain because of the changes in the market. Not to be deterred, Susan applied to law school to become a Real Estate Attorney. However, the introduction to criminal law and criminal procedures took precedence over real estate law.
After law school, Susan clerked for Judge William C. Lee in the federal court in Fort Wayne. Afterwards, Susan moved back to Indianapolis and joined the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for eight years. Finally, Susan worked for the State of Indiana as a contract attorney.
Eventually Susan married John, her husband who was active duty in the Army. They moved to Columbia, MO where she became active in her community. She taught at a local college, became a lay counselor to women, and actively worked with the refugee community. She taught English to international students attending the University of Missouri and was appointed to the inaugural Columbia Citizen and Police Review Board.
After returning to Indianapolis, Susan practiced law to include representing Veterans. She also continued teaching online, focusing on Juvenile Justice and Administration and Criminal Procedures. In 2014, Susan began her political career by running for an open seat in City-County Council District 12, and again in 2018 as Small Claims Judge for Warren Township. Both campaigns were an incredible and positive experience, which has prepared Susan for her campaign as a candidate for the 7th Congressional District.