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James E. Smith, Jr. received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, began his legal career with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP and is currently the principle of James E. Smith, Jr., P.A. Elected to the South Carolina House ofRepresentatives in 1996, James has served as Assistant Minority Leader, Chief Minority Whip and House Minority Leader. After serving eight years as a JAG officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard, James resigned his commission, re-enlisted and became an Infantry Officer. As a Captain, he served in Afghanistan's Zabul and Kandahar Provinces where he earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals. James serves on the boards of the Alston Wilkes Society, Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority, Congaree Riverkeepers and United Way and is a former board member of the South Carolina First Steps and Prevent Child Abuse. James was recently awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award by the University of South Carolina College of Art and Sciences.