Democrat Ras Smith suspending campaign for governor

The representative from Waterloo said “there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome.”


Iowa State House Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, is running for Iowa governor in 2022.

Rylee Wilson, Managing Editor

State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign for Iowa governor. 

“I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or how hard we faithfully represent the majority of hardworking Iowans,” Smith said in a press release. 

Smith was the first Democrat to enter the race when he announced his campaign in June 2021. Deidre DeJear, a business owner from Des Moines who ran for secretary of state in 2018, is the most prominent Democrat in the race for governor. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has yet to officially announce her campaign for reelection. 

“The Iowa Democrat 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,” Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann said in a Wednesday press release.

In the press release, Smith said he will return to the Statehouse next week when the legislative session begins. 

“I strongly believe that people are Iowa’s greatest resource,” Smith said. “As I’ve traveled the state, my team and I have heard over and over again that Iowans want leaders with shared experiences and who understand working class challenges. What they do not want is the most wealthy and elite to be solely at the table making decisions on their behalf.”