(The Center Square) – Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, may see competition for his bid to be the Democratic nominee for governor.
Deidre DeJear, who won the Democratic primary for Iowa Secretary of State in 2018 before losing to incumbent Republican Paul Pate, announced July 12 that she has formed an exploratory committee to run for Iowa governor in 2022.
She would be the first Black woman to be governor in both state and federal history.
“I’m Deidre DeJear. I’m an entrepreneur, voting advocate, I’ve helped small businesses in Iowa for over a decade,” DeJear said in her announcement on Twitter. “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.”
DeJear said in her announcement on Facebook that she hoped to speak with as many Iowans as possible during her Conversation Tour to hear their concerns, success and hopes. She has events planned this week in Clinton, Fort Madison and Ottumwa.
DeJear, a small business owner, is the vice president of the League of Women Voters of Metro. Des Moines. She serves on the board of Back to School Iowa and Count the Kicks. So far, her campaign expenditures have included charitable contributions of $1,312.95 to Back to School Iowa and $500 to Count the Kicks.
Smith announced his candidacy June 15 on Twitter. He is serving his second term and is a ranking member of the Education committee. He sponsored 10 bills this legislative session, including House File 92, a bill to require amusement ride attendants to be at least 16 years old and complete training before operating rides. The bill, renumbered as House File 558, was signed April 30.
“Iowans deserve a governor who will embrace the challenges of today as opportunities to lead tomorrow,” Smith said in his announcement. “A governor, that when the days get long, will have your back. We deserve a government that is worthy of our work.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds, the first woman to become Iowa governor, has not yet announced whether she will run for re-election.