DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee elected State Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, as their new party chairman on Saturday. Smith replaces Troy Price who resigned as chair after an app failure delayed the release of the final results of the Iowa Democratic Caucus for days.
Smith, 68, was the Iowa House Minority Leader from 2013 to 2019. He announced last fall that he would not run for re-election in November.
Three additional men vied to be the next chair of the party including former State Rep. Bob Krause, who ran unsuccessfully for party chair before. Krause also ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing the Democratic nomination to Roxanne Conlin.
Candidates also included Gabriel de la Cerda who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2014, and Joe Henry, the political director with League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa.
“I am honored that Iowa Democrats have put their faith in my leadership to help lead our party to victory this November,” Smith said in a statement after winning a majority vote by the IDP State Central Committee.
“Every Iowan deserves the opportunity to enjoy a rich quality of life – and Democrats will never stop fighting to ensure those opportunities are extended to every Iowan. Our Party is proud and strong because of our values, and we are committed to restoring trust to carry out those values from river to river,” he added. “The challenges we face will not be easy, but we’ll face them with the undaunted courage and selfless sacrifice that elected the first Iowa women to US Congress, won three statewide offices, and expanded our organizing foundation in all 99 counties.”
“Iowa Democrats will not be distracted. The spirit of our party and our commitment to our mission is only growing stronger. Have no doubt: we will beat Donald Trump, send Senator Ernst and Steve King packing, and win back our legislature this November – and we will do so more united than ever. That is my commitment as Chair to Iowa Democrats. We’re going to get the job done,” he concluded.