State Representative Ras Smith launches gubernatorial campaign, celebrating Iowa with a unifying vision of a brighter future for all.

State Representative Ras Smith speaking at the LULAC Iowa Day at the Capitol building on March 31, 2021. Photo Tar Macias / Hola Iowa

Campaign to hold kick-off event tonight in Waterloo.

WATERLOO, IA — Today, State Representative Ras Smith officially announced his run for Governor of Iowa in 2022. Celebrating the hardworking, community spirit of our state, Ras outlines his unifying vision to grow a brighter future for all Iowa families in a newly released video. 

Ras and his campaign will be holding a kick-off event later today in Waterloo. Doors open at 4:30 and the event begins at 5 p.m. at the Riverloop Amphitheatre, 225 Commercial Street, Waterloo, Iowa 50701. 


State Representative Ras Smith is a father, a husband, a public servant, a hunter, a farmer, a coach, and a counselor.

His journey started with a military mom, who went on to become pastor of their local church, and a factory father, who was born on a sharecropping plantation and spent over forty years working on the assembly line at John Deere as a member of Local UAW 838. They taught him faith, the value of hard work, and how to see the world from someone else’s view.

Ras is a proud native of east Waterloo, where he still lives with his family, but he feels just as much at home in rural Iowa, where he spends his time hunting, fishing, and helping out on the family farm.


His journey to the state house was not an easy one.

Growing up, Ras experienced racism and prejudice, but over and over again, he also experienced teachers and coaches and Iowans standing up for him. The Iowa he knows and loves is one where communities take care of each other. 


Ras learned early in life that service to community is just ‘what you do.’ From training student athletes, to helping kids get their basic needs met, to counseling them and getting them across the finish line at graduation, his calling to service has taught him we are stronger when we have each other’s backs. 

But all too often, Ras witnessed the government holding Iowans back instead of empowering students and families to be their best selves. And so, In 2016, he ran for the Iowa State House to bring leadership based on lived experiences to the capitol. As the ranking member of the Education committee and founder and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, he works to bridge division, improve quality of life, and empower Iowans to succeed.


Ras believes that this moment is our greatest opportunity for change.

“We can work together to create solutions that help the people of Iowa to not just survive — but to thrive. No matter where you live, what party you vote for, what job puts food on your table — we’re all Iowans, and, together, we will grow a brighter future for our state.”

Learn more about Ras:

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