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Ruth Smith

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Ruth Smith
Candidate for
Iowa State Senate, District 48

Political party Democratic
Profession Physical Therapist, Small Business Owner
Ruth Smith was the Democratic Party candidate for the 2011 special election to District 48 of the Iowa State Senate. The special election took place on January 4, 2011.


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 and coach. She is also an adjunct instructor at Graceland University. Smith has previously worked as a small business entrepreneur. She has been married to her husband Tom for 20 years. They have three children.[1]


Campaign themes


Smith's 2011 special election campaign site emphasized several key policy positions and campaign themes:

  • Healthcare Policy: "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: "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 children’s 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: "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: "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..."

Candidate Forum

On December 14, 2010, Smith and Joni Ernst (R) took part in an open forum sponsored by the Creston News Advertiser and KSIB.[2]

  • Part one of the forum can be found here.
  • Part two of the forum can be found here.



See also: State legislative special elections, 2011; Iowa state legislative special elections, 2011

Smith was defeated by Republican Joni Ernst in the January 4, 2011 special election to Iowa State Senate District 48.[3] With 62 of 62 precincts reporting, Ernst has won with 67.4 percent of the vote.[4][5]

External links