DES MOINES, Iowa – Voting rights activist Deidre DeJear announced Monday that she is exploring running for the Democratic nomination for Governor to challenge incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds.
“I’m an entrepreneur, voting advocate, I’ve helped small businesses in Iowa for over a decade. I’m exploring a run for Iowa Governor. They say Iowa isn’t ready for a Black woman as Governor, but no one gets to tell us who we are or when we’re ready,” she said in an announcement on Twitter.
On Facebook, DeJear announced a listening tour to hear Iowans’ concerns. She already held events in Des Moines, Davenport, and Clinton. She will visit Muscatine, Burlington, and Ft. Madison on Wednesday and Ottumwa on Thursday.
At the federal level, candidates will sometimes form exploratory committees to begin fundraising. In Iowa, there is no exploratory committee distinction for candidates. State law requires any candidate to register a candidate committee if they raise or spend more than $1000 in a calendar year for a candidate’s election.
DeJear, who ran, unsuccessfully, for Iowa Secretary of State against incumbent Paul Pate in 2018 (losing by approximately 102,000 votes), kept her campaign committee active.
She is a small business owner who lives in Des Moines with her husband, Marvin. She moved to Iowa from Oklahoma to attend Drake University and stayed. DeJear is the Vice President of the League of Women Voters in Des Moines, is a member of Links, Inc., and currently serves on the boards of Count the Kicks, Des Moines Housing Services Board, and the Iowa Interfaith Alliance.
If DeJear decides to run, she will join State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, who announced his candidacy last month. Gov. Kim Reynolds has not announced her re-election campaign yet.