ⓘ Ras Smith
RasTafari I. "Ras" Smith is an American politician from Iowa. He has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2017, as a legislator from District 62.
1. Personal life, education, and early career
RasTafari Smith was named for the royal title and given name of Haile Selassie. The name was selected by his mother, Belinda Creighton-Smith, a pastor. Smiths father L. C. is a retired factory worker for John Deere. His brothers include Rameses and Myron. Smith is married to Amelia, an educator, with whom he has two children.
Smith was raised in northeast Waterloo, Iowa and attended Northern University High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He enrolled at Wartburg College and Iowa State University before completing a bachelors degree in exercise science at the University of Northern Iowa. Smith then worked as the strength and conditioning coach at Waterloo East High School and volunteered as a member of the high schools American football coaching staff. He left East High to work at a Target Corporation distribution center, then joined Four Oaks, a special education program, as a counselor and later, shift leader. During his time at Four Oaks, Smith worked toward a masters degree in leisure, youth and human services from the University of Northern Iowa. After completing his masters degree, Smith began working for Communities in Schools.
Smith is a Baptist.
2. Political career
After Deborah Berry announced her retirement, her seat in District 62 was left open. Smith contested that seat in 2016 as a Democratic Party candidate, defeating Republican Party candidate Todd Obadal and political independent John Patterson.