Smith and Fisher to seek re-election

Filing for state and federal primary elections begins on Feb. 26

Two local lawmakers confirmed Wednesday that they intend to run to keep their Iowa House of Representatives seats in this year’s mid-term election.

“I always door-knock and meet with the people in my district, and plan to do that again this time,” said State House Minority Leader Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, who represents Iowa’s 71st district.

Smith’s district covers all of Marshalltown and a portion of northern and eastern Marshall County. He was first elected in 2000 and will be pursuing a ninth term in the House this year.

House District 72 state Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Montour, also said he plans to run for re-election in 2018.

“I’ll be hitting all the parades and knocking doors and doing all I can to make sure I come out on top,” he said. “I’m not aware if I have an opponent yet, but I’m expecting one; I always expect an opponent.”

Fisher’s district covers all of Tama County, southern and western Marshall County and a small portion of southern Black Hawk County. He was first elected to the House in 2012 and will run for a third term this year.

Smith said he believes 2018 will be a good year for Democratic candidates.

“Traditionally, the political party in charge in the White House doesn’t do as well in the off-year elections,” he said. “That was the case in 2010 and 2014 with Democratic losses, so I think that’s to our advantage.”

As the ranking Democrat in the House, Smith also said he works to recruit other Democrats to run for House seats.

“I am very excited about both the number and the quality of the candidates running,” he said.

Fisher said recent Republican legislative victories will mean he may have to adapt his campaign message.

“Some of the things I’ve run on in the past, like voter ID, we’ve accomplished that, so I’ll probably drop that from the list and maybe I’ll pick up another issue,” he said. “Still, I’m for cutting spending, cutting taxes and I’ve been working hard on doing things for our rural schools.”

There are many other races for Central Iowans to pay attention to this year, including the race for governor.

Incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds and outgoing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett are set to run in the GOP gubernatorial primary election.

Several Democrats have entered the field as well, including state Sen. Nate Boulton, union leader Cathy Glasson, retired businessman Fred Hubbell, former Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Dr. Andy McGuire, former Des Moines School Board President Jon Neiderbach, former gubernatorial chief of staff John Norris and Ross Wilburn of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Two Libertarians, Marco Battaglia and Jake Porter, have also indicated interest in the race for governor.

The state offices of Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General and more will be on the 2018 ballot as well.

On the federal level, Iowa’s First Congressional District is up in this year’s election; that seat is currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Blum of Dubuque.

Potential Democratic challengers for the seat include state Rep. Abby Finkenaur, D-Dubuque, and Thomas Heckroth, who worked as a staffer for former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin. According to the Iowa Democratic Party website, George Ramsey III and Courtney Rowe are also looking to run for the position.

The filing period for state and federal offices runs from Feb. 26 to 5 p.m. on March 16, according to the Iowa Secretary of State website. The primary election is scheduled for June 5, and the general election is Nov. 6.

For more information, visit


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or