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THIS WEEK: Picking Up the Pieces

New state Democratic Chair believes Iowa will hold onto its "First in the Nation" Caucus

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Iowa's new Democratic Party chair acknowledges it's an uphill fight, but he believes Iowa's Caucus could remain first in the Nation in 2024.

"Well we're going to fight, I'm going to fight tooth and nail to keep the Iowa Caucuses," said Mark Smith.  

"This is a wonderful unique form of Democracy."

Smith says he's talked with state Democrats, national party leaders, and even his opponents about the future of the Caucus.

"We will be working to assure we have accessibility with the Caucus in the future but I've already been talking with Republican leadership as well to keep the first in the Nation status," Smith said during his one on one interview with News 8's Jim Mertens on "News 8 This Week".

See more of the interview with Chairman Smith on a "NEWS 8 THIS WEEK EXTRA" on Facebook at WQAD Jim Mertens.

State Democrats hired former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell and former federal prosecutor Nick Klinefeldt to look into the discrepancies first reported caucus night. 

"We prefer to be accurate rather than quick," said Smith who became Chairman after the resignation of Troy Price in the wake of the Iowa Caucus fallout.

He says that report still needs to be finalized.

Smith also brushes off criticism of Iowa Democrats in selecting forward-thinking candidates.

He points to the 2008 Caucus victory of Barack Obama, the first African American presidential nominee; the 2016 victory for Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee; and the 2020 Caucus winner Pete Buttigieg, the first gay candidate to win a presidential contest.

"I think that speaks highly of the progressive nature of Iowans."