DES MOINES, Iowa – Voting rights activist Deidre DeJear officially launched her gubernatorial campaign on Saturday. Last month, the 35-year-old Democrat announced she was exploring running to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds.
DeJear joins State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, in running for the Democratic nomination.
“Working families have been hit hard over the past few years. They are worth the fight. As your governor, I will spend my time working on solutions by bringing together Iowans from river to river to meet our challenges head on,” she said in a statement before her campaign launch event.
DeJear ran unsuccessfully for Iowa Secretary of State against incumbent Paul Pate in 2018.
She is a Mississippi native who grew up in Oklahoma. She 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. DeJear first got involved in politics by working on former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in Iowa.
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann called DeJear “out-of-touch.”
“Iowa Democrats are signaling they are joined at the hip with their out-of-touch national Democrat counterparts,” he said in a released statement. “Iowans overwhelmingly support Voter ID, and if DeJear thinks the elimination of Voter ID will win Iowans over, she will be sadly mistaken yet again. No matter who Democrats select, none will compare to Governor Reynolds. Iowans believe in her because she got children back in the classroom, cut taxes, and proved she is the leader Iowa needed.”
Reynolds is expected to run for re-election but has not formally announced her plans yet.