My name is Mark Smith and I’m the new Democratic Leader in the Iowa House of Representatives. I was elected last month by my colleagues after our previous leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines, resigned to take a new job in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
First, I just want to share a bit about myself.
I’m a life-long Iowan and grew up on a farm near Osceola before moving to Winterset where I graduated from high school. I attended Graceland College in Lamoni and then received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa. As a mental health and substance abuse professional, I’ve worked with people of all ages who face significant challenges in their own lives.
I’ve been married for 26 years to my wife, Karen, and we have one grown daughter, Allie. I’m also a former foster parent to two children and couldn’t be prouder to have eleven foster grandchildren. I’m also an avid cyclist and have ridden numerous RAGRBAI’s over the years.
I’ve been a State Representative from Marshalltown for over a decade and most recently served as an Assistant Minority Leader. I chaired the House Human Resources Committee for several years and have worked on many different issues related to jobs, health care, community development, education, and civil rights.
My goal as the new House Democratic Leader is pretty simple: rebuild the middle class in Iowa. That means boosting our skilled workforce, creating good-paying jobs, and making sure families have access to affordable health care.
When the 2014 session begins in January, House Democrats will be ready to get to work for the people of Iowa. We’re going to keep focused on the middle class and work together to find common sense solutions.
In the weeks ahead, I hope you’ll share your ideas for a strong middle class with us. We’re always open to new ideas from Iowans.
I look forward to hearing from you.