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Rep. Ras Smith ends campaign for IA governor

"Unfortunately, this process has also exposed a drastic disconnect between the current political system and the people," Smith said in a news release.

DES MOINES, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from Smith's campaign announcement in June 2021

State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo announced Wednesday he is suspending his campaign for Iowa governor.

"Unfortunately, this process has also exposed a drastic disconnect between the current political system and the people," Smith said in a press release. "I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or how faithfully we represent the majority of hardworking Iowans."

Smith acknowledged his supporters and donors and said he remains committed to bringing meaningful change to the state.

"I return to the Iowa Legislature next week where I will focus on continuing to amplify the voice of the people," he said. "We have a lot of work to do, Iowa. And I’m here for it."

Deidre DeJear, a Democrat who previously ran for Iowa Secretary of State in 2018, is also running for governor. She served as Kamala Harris's campaign chair during her 2020 presidential election.

"As Ras heads back to the legislature next week, I am looking forward to the great work I know he will continue to do to move our state forward," she said in a statement Wednesday.

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Read Rep. Smith's full statement below:

“When my team and I launched my campaign for governor last summer, we invited all Iowans to join our movement with the message “come as you are.” We believe that there is a place for everyone in our collective vision for the future of Iowa.

And over the past seven months, you have welcomed me into your homes, your communities, your struggles, and your aspirations. You have allowed me to come as I am, and it’s been a privilege. Knowing you better has helped me to know Iowa better and love Iowa more. It has reaffirmed for me the magnitude of mission-driven work that lies ahead to ensure Iowa is a state where all of us can not just survive -- but thrive.

Unfortunately, this process has also exposed a drastic disconnect between the current political system and the people. I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or how faithfully we represent the majority of hardworking Iowans.

Today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign for governor of Iowa. I am profoundly grateful to our countless friends, supporters, and donors, and invite you to stay connected as we continue to work to bring meaningful change to this state. My faith guides me in not being tethered to an outcome, but instead to remain committed to the work.

I return to the Iowa Legislature next week where I will focus on continuing to amplify the voice of the people. I strongly believe that people are Iowa’s greatest resource. As I’ve traveled the state, my team and I have heard over and over that Iowans want leaders with shared experiences and who understand working class challenges. What they do not want is the most wealthy and elite to be solely at the table making decisions on their behalf.

We have a lot of work to do, Iowa. And I’m here for it.”

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