Marshalltown state representative elected Iowa Democratic Party chair

Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, was elected chair of the Iowa Democratic Party on Feb. 15.

Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, was elected chair of the Iowa Democratic Party on Feb. 15.

Jake Webster

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) has a new chair following the resignation of Troy Price.

A Marshalltown-area state legislator, Rep. Mark Smith, was elected the party’s chair in an “emergency meeting” of the IDP’s State Central Committee.

“I am honored that Iowa Democrats have put their faith in my leadership to help lead our party to victory this November,” Smith said in a statement.

Smith previously served as Iowa House minority leader from 2013 to 2019 and is currently serving his 10th term as a state representative.

Smith’s predecessor resigned as party chair after controversy followed the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. The results of the caucuses took several days to tabulate and are subject to a recanvassing. The race is close between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg and remains uncalled.

“The challenges we face will not be easy, but we’ll face them with the undaunted courage and selfless sacrifice that elected the first Iowa women to US Congress, won three statewide offices, and expanded our organizing foundation in all 99 counties,” Smith said in a statement.

Under Price’s leadership, Iowa Democrat’s won back two congressional districts, the state auditor’s office and multiple state legislative districts. He was leader from July 2017 until his resignation became effective Saturday.

“Iowa Democrats will not be distracted,” Smith said in a statement. “The spirit of our party and our commitment to our mission is only growing stronger. Have no doubt: we will beat Donald Trump, send Senator Ernst and Steve King packing, and win back our legislature this November – and we will do so more united than ever. That is my commitment as Chair to Iowa Democrats. We’re going to get the job done.”

Following Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections, Trump, Ernst and King are the only incumbent Republicans in federal office who will be on the ballot in Iowa.