Mark Smith will not seek re-election as Iowa Democratic Party chairman

    State Rep. Mark Smith speaks to the Iowa Democratic Party's State Central Committee while campaigning for interim party chairman on Feb. 15. (Photo by Kathie Obradovich/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

    Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Mark Smith announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election to the position.

    Smith, a former state legislator from Marshalltown, won the chairmanship in February after the former chairman,  Troy Price, resigned in the wake of a national furor over problems with reporting the results of the Iowa Caucuses.

    Iowa Democrats suffered disappointments in the November elections, including Republican Joni Ernst’s re-election, the defeat of Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer and the loss of Democrat-held seats in the Iowa House.

    Smith, in a statement, cited a need for the party to rebuild.

    “Despite the statewide results on Election Day, I continue to believe that the values of the Democratic Party are the values of Iowans. It is also clear that our party must rebuild, retool, and reenergize moving forward. That said, I have decided not to seek re-election as chair and I will continue to serve the party until a new chair is elected in January 2021,” Smith said.

    Smith expressed pride over party accomplishments this year, including a vote-by-mail and early-vote program that he said “brought in a record number of early votes, including 117,567 more Democratic absentee ballots than Republicans.”

    The new leader will be elected by party’s State Central Committee.

    Kathie Obradovich
    Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.