|U.S. Senate, Iowa|
|Profession||Physical Therapist, Small Business Owner|
Smith is a life-long resident of Decatur County, where she graduated from Lamoni Community Schools. She went on to pursue a degree in chemistry from Graceland University, a degree in physical therapy from the University of Miami and a degree in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.
She currently works as a physical therapist in southern Iowa. Smith has previously worked as an adjunct instructor at Graceland University, high school coach and small business entrepreneur. She also is currently serving as a council member with the city of Lamoni.
Smith stated the following in a biographical submission to Ballotpedia:
|“||I feel the urgent importance to get the BIG MONEY out of politics, specifically in campaign fundraising. This reform must happen before any national issues are most effectively resolved. American voters need to realize that politicians are 'buying their vote' instead of doing their job.||”|
Smith highlighted the following themes on her campaign website:
- Excerpt: "Hold Congress accountable by withholding their paycheck (or some form of legal action) when it can't compromise on reasonable spending and fair taxation."
- Entitlement programs
- Excerpt: "[T]he costs of our Medicare and Medicaid programs along with Social Security must be drastically reduced. Prevention in healthcare always pays off and delaying eligibility for retirement benefits might also be considered...the more-fortunate taxpayors [sic] must provide "American Family" support through programs such as food and housing assistance until the less-fortunate are able to give back to society."
- International relations
- Excerpt: "[A]s we remain alert and able, we resist the temptation to strike first...we would rather avoid the confrontation. 'Global power' will inevitably change with growing economies... the U.S. must be a strong defender of world peace by forming stronger relations with all nations. Through mutual respect and honor, American leadership must balance our own national security interests with similar interests of people across the globe."
- Excerpt: "Since global warming is mostly caused by the use of fossil fuels---such as oil, coal, and natural gas---our primary energy production must NOT rely on these sources. Instead, renewable sources---such as wind, water, solar, and plants---must be developed. Nuclear power sources are clean but management of nuclear waste continues to be a challenge. And a no-brainer...a hefty tax on carbon dioxide pollutors [sic] will definitely give adequate incentive for more responsible business practices!"
- Excerpt: "Sufficient control at the borders is an essential start, but our out-dated process to legal citizenship must be more flexible and responsive to our country’s economic needs...let’s consider a compromise like a 'conditional' green card until the immigrant shows sufficient commitment to our American way of life."
- Excerpt: "Let’s give students better career guidance and security. And as our economy continues to change, let’s encourage life-long learning through adult education."
- Excerpt: "Heathcare [sic] costs---for all Americans---have been out-of-control for way too long. Because the healthcare industry has been unable to fix this problem, government must participate in solving it."
- Minimum wage
- Excerpt: "[I]n order to enable all full-time workers a chance to stay out of poverty, the minimum wage must be annually adjusted with inflation."
Smith's 2011 special election campaign site emphasized several key policy positions and campaign themes:
- Healthcare Policy
- Excerpt:"I will support healthcare policy which promotes affordable and accessible medical services, including both mental and physical health for all Iowans... Healthcare affordability must address those areas of low cost-effectiveness in the current healthcare system and encourage preventative practices which allow for early detection and treatment of disease... Alternative healthcare options— research-based, holistic approaches— should be incorporated into the medical system for more comprehensive strategies... Because of the increasing numbers of rural elders, community developers must be encouraged to meet the various elder housing and service needs... Finally, Iowa legislators must promote prompt and top-quality healthcare services for Iowa veterans..."
- Education Policy
- Excerpt: "I will lobby for education policy which advocates a well-rounded K-12 curriculum and encourages health lifestyles... Adequate financial support from state resources is critical to the success of rural public education. By increasing wages and benefits for teachers and staff, we place a higher value on our childrens education and future... To optimize educational outcomes, accountability standards for teachers and administration must be effective and reasonable...Advanced education, through both community colleges and universities, must continue to prepare young adults to effectively enter the ever-changing work world. Both vocational and professional programs are necessary for a vibrant rural economy..."
- Small Business and Industry Policy
- Excerpt: "Infrastructure needs– adequate transportation means, sufficient water and energy supply, and suitable communication technology– form the foundation for economic prosperity in rural Iowa...For greater workforce stability and productivity, labor wages must be fair relative to the area’s living costs. The interdependent relationship between business management and the labor force must be recognized to create employee loyalty and accountability, leading to better performance and profits...In order to attract tourists, new residents, and additional business, “main street” of most rural communities needs re-vitalization. Entrepreneurs and developers must be supported by both financial assistance and planning resources. Currently, most small business owners are overburdened with commercial property taxes; therefore, more equitable taxation strategies are appropriate."
- Farming Policy
- Excerpt: "New, research-based practices must be supported to increase production, maximize efficiency, and reduce waste. Unnecessary regulation which discourages the initiation and development of new farming markets should be minimized...Environmentally-friendly practices must be considered for the well-being of rural communities. Advancements in safer, more conscientious farming materials and methodology will respect the quality of life for rural residents and the condition of our natural resources... “Green” energy development– bio-fuels, wind, solar, and water energy– shows much economic potential for farming commodities and rural landowners... Agricultural research and education must result in practical recommendations which improve the competitiveness of the small farmer. Iowa must preserve and restore the opportunities for farmers to sustain a livelihood in the farming industry..."
- Part one of the forum can be found here.
- Part two of the forum can be found here.
Smith was defeated by Republican Joni Ernst in the January 4, 2011 special election to Iowa State Senate District 48. With 62 of 62 precincts reporting, Ernst has won with 67.4 percent of the vote.
Smith and her husband of 20 years, Ted, have three children.
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- United States Senate elections in Iowa, 2014
- United States Senate
- United States congressional delegations from Iowa
- Official campaign website
- Official campaign blog
- Iowa Democratic Party, Press Release
- Secretary of State, Special Election Page
- Ruth for Senate, "About Me," accessed August 19, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Information submitted on Ballotpedia’s biographical information submission form on July 10, 2014
- Ruth Smith for Senate, "Issues," accessed August 19, 2014
- Creston News Advertiser, "Ernst, Smith focus on social, economic issues," December 15, 2010
- Official Iowa Candidate list
- Iowa SOS, Unofficial Election Results
- Des Moines Register, "Republican Ernst wins state Senate seat," January 5, 2011