WATERLOO, Iowa – State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, announced on Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign for governor.
“When my team and I launched my campaign for governor last summer, we invited all Iowans to join our movement with the message ‘come as you are.’ We believe that there is a place for everyone in our collective vision for the future of Iowa,” he said in a released statement. “And over the past seven months, you have welcomed me into your homes, your communities, your struggles, and your aspirations. You have allowed me to come as I am, and it’s been a privilege. Knowing you better has helped me to know Iowa better and love Iowa more. It has reaffirmed for me the magnitude of mission-driven work that lies ahead to ensure Iowa is a state where all of us can not just survive – but thrive.”
Smith leaves what is now a two-way Democratic primary with former Iowa Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear of Des Moines and Des Moines attorney Kim West.
“While working with (Smith) over the past few years, I have seen his incredible commitment to public service and creating a better Iowa for all. Following in the footsteps of his parents, Ras has dedicated his life to public service and through his campaign he invited Iowans in and lifted up the voices of so many in our state,” DeJear stated, reacting to Smith’s announcement on social media.
Smith noted that the process of campaigning exposed a “drastic disconnect” between the current political system and the people.
“I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or how faithful we represent the majority of hardworking Iowans,” he said.
Campaign fundraising reports for state-level candidates are due to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board by January 19.
He said he will return to the Iowa Legislature which will gavel in their 2022 session next week to focus on “amplifying the voice of the people.”
“We have a lot of work to do, Iowa. And I’m here for it,” Smith concluded.
He did not announce re-election plans for the Iowa House. Smith currently represents Iowa House District 62 that includes Waterloo, Elk Run Heights, Evansdale, and Raymond. After redistricting, he was drawn into the new Iowa House District 61 with State Rep. Timi Brown-Powers, D-Waterloo.
Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said the Democratic establishment is pushing candidates out of the primary while facing an “uphill battle against Gov. Kim Reynolds.”
“Iowans continue to reject the radical ideas of the Democrat Party,” he said in a released statement. “Gov. Reynolds is in a strong position heading into November. She is the proven leader Iowa needs. She has maintained a steady, thoughtful approach to getting our children back into the classroom, keeping Iowa businesses open, and standing up to the federal overreach of the Biden Administration. Gov. Reynolds has fought for us every step of the way and I know Iowans are ready to re-elect her in 2022.”