Iowa House of Representatives District 1
Jeff in the News
Iowa Right to Life Endorses Smith
June 03, 2012

Smith Endorsed by Prominent Pro-Life Group

 

(DES MOINES) – Today Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Spirit Lake) was endorsed by Iowa Right to Life.  Smith is seeking election to the Iowa House in district 1.  The new House district is comprised of Lyon, Osceola and Dickinson Counties.

 

Iowa Right to Life evaluates candidates based on their ability, sincerity and responsiveness in support of their pro-life legislative priorities.  The voting history of incumbents is also evaluated.

 

“I’m humbled to receive the endorsement from Iowa Right to Life.  If elected I will continue to work diligently to defend the unborn,” said Smith. 

 

Iowa Right to Life is the largest pro-life group in Iowa, and the Iowa affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee.   Iowa Right to Life has a mission to affirm and protect sanctity of life ethic through educational, political and social activities.


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Iowa Association of Business and Industry Endorses Smith
May 22, 2012

Job Creators Endorse Jeff Smith for House District 1

 

Jeff Smith of Okoboji has been named a “Friend of Iowa Business” by the Iowa Industry PAC, the political action committee of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.  Jeff is seeking election to the Iowa House in District 1 that includes Lyon, Osceola and Dickinson counties.

 

The Iowa Industry PAC evaluates candidates based on their ability to help create jobs in Iowa by supporting a competitive business climate.  Criteria used to make the designations include the candidates’ positions on issues of importance to job creators in Iowa.

 

“Jeff has demonstrated a commitment to improve Iowa’s business climate so that employers can create more jobs and grow the economy,” said Michael Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

 

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) is comprised of approximately 1,400 companies employing more than 300,000 Iowans. As "The Voice of Iowa Business Since 1903", ABI works to enhance the Iowa business climate to foster growth and prosperity for Iowans. The Iowa Industry PAC is non-partisan and endorses both Republican and Democratic candidates for legislative offices. The committee encourages voters to consider the endorsements when evaluating which candidates will help bring jobs to Iowa when voting in the June 5th primary election.

         

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Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Endoresement
May 21, 2012

Smith Receives Key Endorsement from Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey

 

(SPIRIT LAKE) – Today Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced his endorsement of Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Spirit Lake) for the Iowa House.

 

“I know Jeff Smith to be a conservative leader who takes time to listen to Northwest Iowans,” said Northey.  “Jeff is a principled man who has stood up for the taxpayers and reined in big government.  He works hard every day to move Iowa forward.”

 

During his first term, Smith has quickly taken on several leadership roles.  He serves as the Vice Chair of both the Local Government and Natural Resources committees.  Additionally, he serves on the House Economic Growth and Commerce Committees.  He was also recently elected by the Republican caucus as an Assistant House Majority Leader.

 

Smith is a farmer and banker.  He has been active in his community through his work with the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church, the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis, Okoboji Winter Games, the Midwest Youth Football League, Bankers Association and Chamber of Commerce.   

 

He and his wife, Julie have been married for 20 years and have two children.   

 

 

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Smith Recieves NRA Endorsemnt
May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012

 

Tuesday, June 5th i Primary Election Day in Iowa.  Your Nationa Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (www.NRAPVF.org) has endorsed Jeff Smith in the Republican primary election for state Representative in House District 1.

Jeff Smith has earned an "A" rating from the NRA_PVF based on his strong pro-gun record.During the 2012 legislative session, he voted in favor of Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine Enhancement as well as a right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment.  Jeff Smith is a solid, proven and reliable supporter of your second amendment rights and needs your votes to win.

Early voting is already underway, so be sure to spread the word to your family, friends and fellow gun owners in House District 1 to vote for Jeff Smith in the Republican primary election for the Iowa House on or before June 5th.

Iowa Farm Bureau Endorsement
May 10, 2012

IOWA FARM BUREAU DESIGNATES SMITH FRIEND OF AGRICULTURE

 

Okoboji, Iowa – May 10, 2012 – Jeff Smith of Okoboji has been designated a “Friend of Agriculture” by the Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC). Smith is seeking the House District 1 seat that includes Lyon, Osceola, and Dickinson Counties.

“Agriculture is such a vital part of the economy in Northwest Iowa as well as in the entire state. It is important that we recognize this and work to promote all aspects of agriculture in Iowa,” Smith said.

Rod Collins, Chairman of the Iowa Farm Bureau PAC and former farmer from Dallas County, announced the committee’s recommendations for the June 5th primary. “Jeff Smith has earned this designation as a Friend of Agriculture because he has a record of strong support for issues important to farmers and rural Iowans,” said Collins. “Farm Bureau’s PAC is proud to support candidates who have a track record working for Farm Bureau policies. In this primary, we need to stand behind and urge others to support candidates that match our philosophy, and have a voting record to prove it,” Collins said. “As the June 5th primary approaches, it will be important for all of us to work to get the Friends of Agriculture elected. When someone has been loyal to Farm Bureau Policy, we’d like voters to consider rewarding that work with their vote on June 5th.”

            The grassroots effort to designate Friends of Ag is guided by members. The nine-member PAC committee carefully reviews County Farm Bureau input on primary races, while also considering candidate’s positions on issues of importance to members, leadership on Farm Bureau priorities and past voting records.

July 13, 2011

Smith Announces Re-Election Plans

 

(OKOBOJI) – Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Okoboji) announced today he will be running for re-election to the Iowa House in the newly-formed House District 1.   After redistricting, District 1 includes Lyon and Osceola Counties as well as the northern two thirds of Dickinson County. 

 

Smith grew up on his family’s farm and after graduation from Iowa State University, he returned to continue the operation where he raised corn, beans and managed a feeder pig operation.  Smith went on to work for First Bank and Trust as a farm and commercial lender and branch manager.

 

First elected to the Legislature in 2010, Smith has brought a conservative approach to state government.  He’s been focused on putting Iowans back to work, reining in state spending and correcting burdensome regulations that are hurting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

 

“For too long state spending has been out of control, spending more than the state takes in and borrowing even more money.  I have been committed to protecting the taxpayer and giving them a seat at the table,” said Smith.  “The best way to get Iowans back to work is to get government out of the way and let Iowa’s businesses start hiring again.”

 

Jeff and his wife, Julie have been married for 20 years and have two children.  The family attends the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church where Jeff has been active, serving as the Finance Committee Chair.  He’s also been active in the community through his service as a member of the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis, board of directors of the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Spirit Lake Zoning Board. 

 

In the House, Smith has taken on multiple leadership roles in his first term.  He serves as the Vice Chair of both the Local Government and Natural Resources Committees.  He also serves on the Commerce and Economic Growth committees as well as the Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee.

 

“I am humbled by the opportunity to continue serving Iowans,” said Smith.  “I look forward to reaching out to new constituents and meeting with those in Northwest Iowa to continue to move our state forward.”


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November 04, 2010

Johnson, Smith emerge with uncontested victories

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Smith
A political shift in the Iowa Legislature was expected Tuesday night as Republicans anticipated gains in both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate.

The local delegation serving the Iowa Great Lakes had little to worry about, however.

Incumbent GOP state Sen. David Johnson of Ocheyedan did not face a challenger and will retain his seat serving District 3.

Newcomer Jeff Smith of Okoboji emerged from a tight race for the GOP nomination in June and was rewarded with an uncontested race to succeed Mike May in Iowa House District 6.

Johnson will be serving his third Senate term. He previously served two terms in the Iowa House.

The 59-year-old is an assistant minority leader and the top Republican on the Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee and the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"I would not be in this position without the tremendous support of so many citizens who really care about the direction of our state, and I thank each and every one of them," he said. "While the 2010 campaign left me unopposed for the first time in the Iowa Senate, I have continued to work on issues important to northwest Iowa. My focus will continue to be on education, renewable energy, agriculture, the environment, health care, older Iowans and Iowans with disabilities."

Johnson expected the upcoming legislative session to have a different political climate even as results unfolded around the state Tuesday night.

"I look forward to Republicans regaining control of the Iowa House," he said. "The GOP should make gains in the Iowa Senate. The next governor will be Terry Branstad. If all that happens, there will be tough decisions to make in a tough economy. That means setting priorities and spending within our means. That means no more irresponsible butcher-shop, across-the-board cuts."

The state senator also took a moment to acknowledge a colleague he's worked with over the past six years. Mike May of Spirit Lake decided not to run again after three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.

"Representative Mike May of Spirit Lake has made an outstanding contribution to Dickinson and Clay counties," Johnson said. "Thank you, Mike and Marge. We had a great working relationship, and I expect to work just as closely with Representative-elect Jeff Smith of Okoboji."

May's successor is an Iowa State University graduate who grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa. He spent much of the past two decades as a commercial lender and bank branch manager in the area.

Back in June, only 55 votes out of 2,767 cast separated Smith and Zach Whiting, another Lakes-area resident seeking the GOP nomination for the District 6 seat in the Iowa House.

"I want to say what a great honor it is to be able to represent District 6 for the next two years," he said. "I really appreciate all the support I have received over the last 11 months and I look forward to the work that is ahead."

Smith also credited the many volunteers that helped along the way.

"I also want to give a special thanks to my family who have been so supportive throughout this campaign," he said. "There are many challenges ahead of us but I am confident we will be able to accomplish many things with hard work and input from this community. I look forward to discussing these issues with the people of District 6 in the months to come."

 


September 16, 2010

Iowa Farm Bureau Designates Smith Friend of Agriculture

 

Okoboji, Iowa- September 7, 2010-Jeff Smith of Okoboji has been designated a “Friend of Agriculture” by the Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC).  Smith is seeking Iowa House District 6 seat that includes northeast Clay and Dickinson counties.

“Agriculture is such a vital part of the economy here in northwest Iowa as well as around the state.  It’s important that we recognize this and work to promote all aspects of Ag Business in Iowa,” Smith said.

“Our organization takes these designations very seriously, and carefully consider each race,” said Mary Heintz, IFBF PAC Committee Chair.  “We looked objectively at each race and how candidates stand on Farm Bureau policy,” Heintz said.  “It’s very important that our designations are determined by statewide grassroots input and how each candidate’s voting record and positions line up with Farm Bureau policy.  As we move forward, it will be important for all of us to work to get the Friends of Agriculture elected,” she said.  “It’s important to elect candidates who are aligned with our policy.

The grassroots effort to designate Friends of Ag is guided by members and began in July when county committees evaluated candidates.  An unprecedented 95 County Farm Bureau Campaign 2010 Committees submitted candidate evaluations this year.  The nine-member PAC committee carefully reviews those evaluations, while also considering candidates positions on issues of importance to members, leadership on Farm Bureau priorities and past voting records.

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August 23, 2010

Santorum test waters at event for Smith

Friday, August 20, 2010

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (above) addressed a group of Republican supporters from the Iowa Great Lakes region on Tuesday at the Spencer Golf and Country Club. Santorum appeared on behalf of Republican District 6 Iowa House candidate Jeff Smith
(Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum spent the early part of the week campaigning for various state and national candidates in the Republican party around northwest Iowa. A Monday night appearance for U.S. Congressman Steve King, a Tuesday morning stop in Sioux Center for Attorney General candidate Brenna Findley (see story about Findley in Saturday's Daily Reporter), and a luncheon address to Iowa Great Lakes Corridor Republican supporters at the Spencer Golf and Country Club on behalf of Jeff Smith, seeking to replace Iowa District 6 Representative Mike May who stepped down after the final session of the Iowa House.

Santorum admitted that while he was here for those on the 2010 ballot, he is also looking for feedback regarding a potential White House run himself as the Republican candidate in 2012.

"When I first came to Iowa about a year ago, I really had no intention of looking at me as a candidate," Santorum said. I was really focused on trying to be part of the national debate to make sure that Barack Obama doesn't get re-elected. But the more I've traveled the country, and I've been to 22 states, I'm getting a lot of encouragement from folks to look at it.

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Republican Iowa House District 5 candidate Jeff Smith was pleased to have the support of both former Rep. Mike May and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at a gathering in his honor Tuesday.
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"I'm here to help candidates but I'm also here to meet folks today and kick the tires a little bit and see what they think. To get me some feedback as to whether someone with my background, someone with my set of skills, someone with my views on the world is what people are looking for."

Smith of Spirit Lake, running unopposed for the District 6 seat, was thrilled to have the former Senator in Spencer on his behalf.

"It's great whenever you can have a national political figure show up. It kind of shows what you're doing is moving in the conservative direction. It's good for Republicans. It's exciting we get someone to show up to keep the base motivated, to keep Republicans motivated so we can have a good turnout in November."

Without a challenge from the Democratic side on the ticket, Smith is using his time to gather input and share his thoughts with potential voters, and work to aid other GOP candidates on the ballot.

"Obviously running unopposed takes a lot of pressure off, but as I said, it doesn't change the campaign strategy," Smith said. "We're going to keep attending events, we're going to be doing a lot of meet-and-greets and coffees. See as many people as we can.

"And I'm also going to help out on some other campaigns in the area; make sure we're going to have a bunch of Republicans win in November."

May, the man whom Smith is on course to replace, was also in attendance. He is confident that Smith is ready to represent the people of District 6. "He's got the time to commit to our district."

The former Representative continued, "It's going to take some hard work to continue this thing for our district. There are a lot of issues we need to deal with but I'm confident that Jeff's going to do a good job."

May listed a number of issues he sees as key to this region, and hopes Smith can champion them. "School start date is one example. We need to do more for tourism in Iowa. Not only through school start date but also by spreading the word that Iowa is a great place to travel to. We all know that would help the Spencer area and the Lakes area if we would just do that.

"I'm also concerned about the Clay County Fair. I think they do a great job. We need to try and do more things for them to try and promote the fair more than it's been promoted now."

The retired legislator also pointed to some projects he felt were left undone from his time in the Iowa House.

"'m concerned about the energy issue in Iowa, more economic development. Let's build a couple of coal-fired plants in this state like the one in Marshalltown that was turned down and like the one in Waterloo that never even got a fair hearing. That would have provided an enormous amount of economic stimulus to this state and to this area. And it would have also provided us with low cost energy for a long, long time so we don't have to go out of state and buy that.

"At the same time we have to continue our move to green energy. I wish we could have done more. I think those are issues we're going to look at long term and Jeff will be a part of making those decisions."

Santorum, who attended the event with his 17-year-old son, suggested that Smith is just now getting ready for a future in government office.

"We're just going around trying help get candidates elected this fall. This is a very important election season and Jeff's a new guy. We're excited about him and his prospects for the future. I think he's one of the up-and-comers in Iowa politics so I'm excited to be here for him," Santorum said.

The former Senator stressed the importance of the Iowa caucuses in the national political process. "I don't know if the people in Iowa realize how important a role they play in national politics outside of the presidential primaries. It's because of the presidential primary caucus here, but it has to do with more than just that. For example, heading into the 2008 presidential primary caucuses, Iowa made a big swing to the Democratic side. That had an impact on the way candidates who come here and campaign here act and behave. It sets a tone for the country. I think if you see a big swing to the Republicans and conservatives, I think that will set a tone for the Iowa caucuses and set a tone for the debate leading into 2012 which is all very positive."

He added, "One of the reasons I'm here is - if we can see a strong showing up-and-down the ticket - not just Terry Branstad which I would obviously love to see - but the whole way down from the state candidates: Attorney General, Treasurer and Secretary of State, to the state legislature - maybe flipping the state legislature - that will send a very strong signal to Washington, D.C., and to the leaders of our country as to where our country is headed."

May agreed. "The neat thing is that Iowa is a caucus state and we're very, very important. We're the first caucus state. We're going to be the focus of the next presidential election and that's what you're seeing. These people are coming to shake hands and to make friends with people. And to share with us what they have to share. I think this helps us as Iowans begin to make decisions about who we would like to see represent the Republican party, and on the other side of the aisle - the Democratic party. I think we're really fortunate. I wish more of us as Iowans would take advantage of those opportunities."

But if there is change, are the Republicans ready to lead?

"That question is really more appropriate for 2012," Santorum answered.

Santorum suggested that patience will have to be exercised, pointing out that this is more about two election cycles rather than just one.

"One of the things I want to caution people is in 2010, this election is about stopping the left and Barack Obama from doing more bad things to the country. I don't think there's going to be much chance to reverse course because he's there. He's still the president and he will block any real changes that conservatives try to push through to limit government or to reduce taxes or keep the private sector going strong. I just think he believes in government and I don't see that changing. I don't think we're going to have the votes to do anything particularly dramatic when he's sitting in the White House. I always tell people don't overestimate what can happen here. We have to take this as two bites of the apple. The first bite is to stop the bad. The second bite is to reverse course and try to restore basic constitutional principles back to Washington, D.C. That's going to take the election of a new president and a bigger majority in the House and Senate for us to be able to make that happen."

ABI Endorses Smith
August 03, 2010

Job Creators Endorse Jeff Smith for Iowa House

 

Jeff Smith of Okoboji has been named a “Friend of Iowa Business” by the Iowa Industry PAC, the political action committee of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.  Jeff is seeking election to the Iowa House in District 6 that includes Dickinson and northeast Clay Counties.

The Iowa Industry PAC evaluates candidates based on their ability to help create jobs in Iowa by supporting a competitive business climate.  Criteria used to make the designation include the candidates’ positions on issues of importance to job creators in Iowa.

“Jeff Smith has demonstrated a commitment to improve Iowa’s business climate so that employers can create more jobs and grow the economy,” said Michael Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) is comprised of approximately 1,400 companies employing more than 300,000 Iowans.  As “The Voice of Iowa Business Since 1903”, ABI works to enhance the Iowa business climate to foster growth and prosperity for Iowans.  The Iowa Industry PAC is non-partisan and endorses both Republican and Democratic candidates for legislative offices.  The committee encourages voters to consider the endorsements when evaluating which candidates will help bring jobs to Iowa when voting in the November 2nd general election.

 

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Smith Secures Win
June 22, 2010

Smith secures razor-thin nomination for House District 6

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

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Poll watchers keep an eye on turnout Tuesday morning in Spirit Lake on behalf of Jeff Smith. Only 53 votes separated Smith and Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake. Both men were seeking the GOP nomination to serve District 6 in the Iowa House.
(Photo by Russ Mitchell/DCN Staff)
[Click to enlarge]
The longtime banker had a close set of numbers to add up and the recent college graduate had a lesson in election night suspense Tuesday night.

Jeff Smith of Okoboji used support from Clay County to secure a close -- and unofficial -- win over Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake for the GOP nomination in Iowa House District 6. Out of 2,765 votes, only 53 votes separated the candidates.

Both Lakes-area candidates were running to succeed three-term state Rep. Mike May. The Spirit Lake businessman chose not to run for a fourth term.

 

(Photo)
Smith

"To be honest, it was a nerve-wracking night," Smith said. "It was a close, hard-fought race and I guess I'm not surprised by it. We knew this was going to come down to the wire and Zach was a good opponent. We're really excited that it turned out the way it did and I'm happy for all of my committee and all of the volunteers that put so many hours in."

Whiting took the candidates' home county 1,018-964 for 51.4 percent support. Smith offset the lead in Clay County, with a 445-338 win for 56.8 percent support.

"Spencer was the toss-up," Whiting said.

The overall count was 1,409 votes and 51 percent support for Smith. Whiting had 1,356 votes for 49 percent support. Whiting said he will let at least one night pass before calling his opponent to concede the result.

"We want to everything to be official," Whiting said. "I'm not doing this to be disingenuous to Jeff or anything -- they did a heck of a job -- but we definitely just want to wait and make sure things are official with everybody. Then I would be happy to congratulate him on a great campaign."

Smith said he considered giving Whiting a call.

"But I know how I would feel in his situation," Smith said. "He worked really hard. I know by the way I was feeling when I was down in Dickinson County and starting to contemplate the possibility of the loss -- I know the way I felt -- so, no I would not have a problem at all if he waited a day or two to make the call. That's completely understandable."

The GOP nominee appears to have a clear path to office. Democrats also held their primary Tuesday night, but did not put a candidate forward for nomination in Iowa House District 6. They could still convene a convention by Aug. 25 to present a nominee to face Smith.

"We tried to come up with somebody," said Bob Koepp, Chairman for the Dickinson County Democratic Party. "We asked probably half-a-dozen that we thought were logical candidates but nobody was willing to jump in right now."

Koepp cited several factors for why the party didn't find a candidate for a seat that was going to be vacated by the incumbent.

"Number one, the district is going to change after this census probably," he said. "I think people were reluctant to try for a term in the district as it is now structured and then have to redo something a couple of years from now. I think that was an element. I don't know that it was a major thing. I think the fact that we've had trouble carrying that seat for Democrats in this area for quite awhile has probably been discouraging. The third thing -- and I kept getting this -- they said: 'I don't want to get into politics right now. It's so nasty.' I think there's a combination of factors."

Koepp doesn't anticipate a Democrat emerging from Dickinson County before the general election.

"Regardless of whether I have an opponent or not, the voters of this district deserve their input to me and they deserve to know where I'm coming from, so, to be honest it doesn't matter if we have an opponent or not, we're going to campaign just as hard either way," Smith said.

Smith is an Iowa State University graduate who grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa. He moved to Spirit Lake in 1994, and spent much of the last 15 years as a farm and commercial lender and the branch manager at First Bank and Trust. He left about two years ago, when First Bank and Trust changed ownership. He and his family recently moved to a home in Okoboji.

May will finish a third term in the Iowa House serving District 6, which represents all of Dickinson County and the northeast corner of Clay County, including Spencer. In announcing his candidacy in December, Smith used the phrase "out of control" to describe state spending and said addressing that would be a top priority.

Whiting, the son of Bryon and Cyndie Whiting of Spirit Lake, graduated from Spirit Lake High School in 2006. After graduation he accepted a scholarship to attend Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. He graduated from Stetson in May 2010 near the top of his class with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Spanish Minor.

During college, he completed internships in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Representative Steve King.

"For the most part, I'm real proud of both candidates," May said. "I think they tried to stick to the issues, they tried to suggest to the public and the press what they would do in response to the economic issues and social issues that face the district. I've been really proud of that. Again, I think they both worked hard. Obviously Jeff has worked at it longer because Zach was still in school but I'm really impressed with how hard they worked and how good a job they want to do for the district. All in all, I'm pretty pleased."

The outgoing representative had a word of advice for the candidate who succeeds him in the Iowa House.

"Listen, listen, listen to the public," he said. "You get out there. You attend every meeting you can possibly attend. You listen to the public and keep your ear to the ground. Don't go to Des Moines and forget who sent you there. That's my best advice. It's a hard job, but in the end, I'm proud I represented the district and if they'll listen to the folks, they'll get some good advice and they'll go down there and do the right thing."

Iowa Banker Seeks Public Office in the Iowa House
Iowa Banker Seeks Public Office in the Iowa House
April 07, 2010

Former banker Jeff Smith of Okoboji is running for the Iowa House District 6 seat currently held by Rep. Mike May, who is not seeking re-election in 2010. May is completing his third term in the Iowa House serving District 6, which includes Dickinson County and the northeast corner of Clay County including Spencer.

Smith spent much of the last 15 years as an ag and commercial lender and as branch manager at First Bank and Trust in Spirit Lake. His family sold the bank just over two years ago, and Smith had a two-year non-compete clause. He said that he misses being in banking and would like to get back into the industry, but for now he is going to work full-time as a candidate and see how things go if he is elected.

Smith said he has always been involved in politics but not on the front lines. He has served on the Spirit Lake Zoning Commission, been involved in local elections and served as treasurer for Bill Northey’s campaign for Secretary of Agriculture, but he hadn’t thought seriously about running for Iowa House until Rep. May announced his retirement. May encouraged Smith to run for office and has publicly expressed his support of Smith’s campaign.

"I think the main issue that we’re dealing with right now is our budget shortfalls and how we’re funding those shortfalls," Smith said. If elected, Smith would bring his extensive background working with balance sheets for small businesses and farm operations to the State House. Smith said his major focus will be "trying to take small business ideas and concepts and implement those into how the state budget is managed to try to get out of our deficit spending and get back on track."

"Obviously the budget is a big concern but we also have to figure out a way to make Iowa more attractive to recruiting business to come to the area, at the same time create an environment where we can grow existing businesses," Smith said, noting that a pro-business environment helps downtowns, rural communities and banks while creating jobs.

June 8 Primary Election

Smith will face 22-year-old Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake, who graduates from college in May. No Democrats have petitioned to be on the primary ballot in June, but Smith says he expects a democrat to come in and challenge the Republican in the general election.

 

 

Jeff Smith (R–District 6)

Smith Makes it Official
March 08, 2010

Des Moines- Jeff Smith of Okoboji has filed his petitions and paperwork to run for the District 6, Iowa House of Representatives.   Smith, a former Lakes area Banker, announced his candidacy back in December.

“I have really enjoyed working on this campaign and this is another step in the process.  The response I have received from the people in this district has been overwhelming and the list of people wanting to get involved is growing every day. I look forward to meeting with the voters in the months to come,” Smith said.

Smith is an Iowa State graduate who grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa.  Smith moved to Spirit Lake in 1994, and spent much of the last 15 years as a farm and commercial lender and branch manager at First Bank and Trust.

 

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Banker Seeking May's Seat Visits Des Moines
Banker Seeking May's Seat Visits Des Moines
February 09, 2010

Rep. Mike May (R-Spirit Lake) was visited by banker and 6th District candidate for May’s seat, Jeff Smith, from Okoboji, earlier this month at the Statehouse in Des Moines. During his visit, Smith and Rep. May discussed issues and legislation. Smith announced plans to run for the Iowa House District 6 seat, currently held by May, in early December 2009. May indicated last year that he would not be seeking re-election in 2010 and voiced support for Smith– a fellow Republican – as part of the statement that officially announced Smith’s campaign for the seat. The Iowa State University graduate grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa. Smith moved to Spirit Lake in 1994, and spent much of the last 15 years as a farm and commercial lender and the branch manager at First Bank and Trust. He left about two years ago, when First Bank and Trust changed ownership. May will finish a third term in the Iowa House serving District 6, which represents all of Dickinson County and the northeast corner of Clay County, including Spencer.

Cuacuses Kick Off Election
January 26, 2010

 

 

 

By Gabe Licht, Daily Reporter Staff

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(Photos by Gabe Licht) Caucus-group-Democrats sign petitions and discuss 2010 election issues such as health care reform during the Democratic Caucus at Iowa Lakes Community College on Saturday.
[Click to enlarge] [Order this photo]

What a difference two years can make.

On Jan. 3, 2008, about 900 Democrats met across Clay County and more than 600 Republicans convened to participate in the Iowa Caucuses.

While Saturday marked the 2010 Iowa Caucuses, participation numbers were anemic with eight Democrats gathering at Iowa Lakes Community College as about 60 Republicans assembled at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

Despite meager numbers, Clay County Republican Party Chair George Moriarty was happy to see the 2010 election year set in motion.

"This is where the whole system starts," Moriarty said. "This is grass roots for the party nationwide."

Clay County Democratic Party Chair Bob Whittenburg explained the purpose of the caucus is for each precinct to organize and elect delegates to the county convention, elect precinct representatives to the county central committee, bring resolutions to the county platform and sign nomination papers and petitions for various state and federal candidates.

While the Democrats did not introduce platforms on Saturday, they did discuss health care reform and the 2010 elections overall.

Moriarty reported that he received five pages listing numerous ideas to be addressed on the Republican platform.

"Many had to do with taxation and government property rights," Moriarty explained. "The budget was number one; I think it was mentioned on every sheet."

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Caucus-Smith-Jeff Smith -- Iowa House District 6 candidate from Okoboji -- addresses his colleagues during the Republican Caucus at Clay County Regional Events Center on Saturday. Candidate Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake was represented by his father Bryon Whiting.
[Click to enlarge] [Order this photo]

The Republican caucus featured visits from candidates and candidate representatives.

Jeff Smith of Okoboji campaigned for the Iowa House District 6 seat -- currently held by Mike May -- while Bryon Whiting spoke on behalf of his son Zach, who is seeking nomination for the same seat.

Individuals represented gubernatorial candidates Terry Branstad, Chris Rants and Bob Vander Plaats.

Supervisors Linda Swanson, Burlin Matthews and Kenneth Chalstrom asked those in attendance for continued support as they run for re-election, as did Treasurer Sandra Geidl and Recorder Shirley Goyette.

New Republican candidates who were not represented at the caucus include George Eichhorn and Matt Schultz (secretary of state) and Jim Heavens and Dave Jamison (state treasurer).

Incumbent Republicans include U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, U.S. Rep. Steve King (District 5), State Auditor David Vaudt, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa Rep. Royd Chambers (District 5) and Iowa Sen. David Johnson (District 3).

While the Democrats did not have candidates visit their caucus, they did receive letters from numerous candidates at the state and federal levels.

Democratic candidates include Roxanne Conlin, Tom Fiegen, Bob Krause and Sal Mohamed for U.S. Senate; Mike Denklau and Matt Campbell for U.S. House (District 5); and Francis Thicke for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

Incumbent Democrats include Gov. Chet Culver, Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, Secretary of State Michael Mauro and Attorney General Tom Miller.

Whittenburg said candidates are more likely to visit the Democratic County Convention on March 20, followed by the District Convention on April 24 and the State Convention June 12.

The Republican County Convention will be March 20, with a District Convention also on April 24 and a State Convention June 26.

Both Moriarty and Whittenburg are looking forward to a changing of the guard in their respective parties.

"Over 10 percent of our attendance was brand new registrants," Moriarty said. "We had six new registrants in their 20s and 30s. That's what gets me excited is the new people."

"We have plans for new leadership and that will be voted on at the county convention," Whittenburg stated. "For the most part it's going to be new and younger people. We feel that's important that everyone's involved. It's great to have a new group of young people that want to pick up leadership and carry on."

Smith in for GOP, May bowing out
December 09, 2009

By Bret Hayworth | December 9, 2009 - 1:44 pm

We’re seeing a period where candidates are settling on decisions to run for the Iowa Legislature in 2010. A few days ago it was Sioux City Democrat Rick Mullin announcing he’d run for the position to be vacated when fellow city Dem Wes Whitead doesn’t seek re-election in Iowa House District 1. And Republican Jeremy Taylor of Sioux City will almost certainly vie with Mullin for the spot in the general election.

Now, we learn from the Spencer Daily Reporter that Mike May, a Republican from Spirit Lake, won’t run for a fourth term to Iowa House District 6. There’s a Republican ready to fill the bill for the GOP, as Okoboji banker Jeff Smith has declared his candidacy. In the piece, May gives endorsement to Smith,  like Whitead did for Mullin. Smith wants to control “out of control” state spending.

I first interviewed May via phone in 2004 before he upset multi-term incumbent Democrat Greg Stevens. I then ran into May in January 2005 at the Okoboji Winter Games, where I recall him talking about being a freshman lawmaker and his views on the leadership. May will depart a year from now with three terms under his belt

Smith Campaign Announcement
December 08, 2009

Local Banker to Replace Rep. May

 

(Okoboji)—Jeff Smith of Okoboji announced today that he will be seeking to replace Rep. Mike May who recently announced he will not be running for re-election to the Iowa House. 

 

Smith, who grew up in Northwest Iowa, graduated from Iowa State University before returning to his family’s farming operation.  Soon after, he moved to Spirit Lake where he’s worked at First Bank and Trust as a farm and commercial lender and the branch manager. 

 

“Anyone can say they are supportive of economic development, but I will do more than just talk about it.  I will put action behind those words,” said Smith.  “My hands-on experience in our community has shown me what tools are needed for a business to locate and create jobs here.  I am committed to worthwhile economic development.”

 

Besides economic development and job creation, Smith also plans to bring a great deal of focus on Iowa’s education system.  Being the father of two children, Haley and Ryley, Smith understands the importance of making education a priority for Iowa’s children.

 

“Iowa’s students deserve to be the very best educated students in the nation,” said Smith.  “It’s our job to give them the tools they need to be able to compete in an ever-changing global economy.”


Smith is a member and past-president of the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis.  He’s also served on the board of directors for the Spirit Lake Mainsail Chamber of Commerce, the Zoning Board and the Youth Athletic Association.  Jeff and his family attend the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church.

 

“Jeff is a candidate I whole-heartedly support,” said Rep. Mike May.  “I know Jeff will be a strong, independent voice for us in the Iowa House.  He is a keen listener, has a strong foundation, a good work ethic, and a strong sense of family values.”

 

 

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Who is Jeff Smith?
"Jeff is a good friend and will make a great representative for our area. With his background in both agriculture and finance, he will bring common sense to the House of Representatives. Please join me in supporting Jeff."
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