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Rep. Ras Smith of Waterloo announces run for governor

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WATERLOO -- A Cedar Valley Democratic state legislator announced he's running for governor, turning what would have been an announcement Tuesday night into a campaign rally.

State Rep. Ras Smith, who represents House District 62, made the announcement early Tuesday morning on social media with a video featuring a farmer, a teacher, his family and he and others walking around downtown Waterloo -- with a focus on shoes.

"I grew up with a military mom and a factory father," Smith says in the announcement video about his parents, L.C. and the Rev. Belinda Creighton-Smith. "They taught us faith, hard work and service to community -- to show grace to people no matter where they come from, or what shoes they wear."

VIDEO: Rep. Ras Smith announces run for Iowa governor

Smith's campaign originally said they were planning an "announcement" for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at RiverLoop Amphitheatre in downtown Waterloo. Tuesday morning, his campaign said it would now be a "kick-off event" for his gubernatorial campaign.

A Democratic primary will be held next summer, with the election in November 2022.

Smith was first elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2016, after longtime Democratic state representative Deb Berry stepped down.

He said on his website,, that he's a "proud native of east Waterloo" where he, his wife and two children still live. But, he noted, he feels "just as much at home in rural Iowa where I spent my formative years hunting and fishing."

The Republican Governors Association responded swiftly with a statement on Tuesday morning, saying Gov. Kim Reynolds is "battle-tested" and has overseen "one of the fastest economic recoveries from COVID." The statement called Smith a "tax and spend liberal."

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