by Marianne Gasaway
Clear Lake City Councilman Bennett Smith has announced he is exploring the possibility of becoming an independent candidate for the Iowa Legislature in House District 54 for the upcoming 2020 fall election.
“Over the next few weeks I look forward to hearing from citizens in the district regarding the various legislative issues that are of important concern to them and having the opportunity to share some of my views on public policy,” stated Smith in a release to media last week. “I believe in a politics that values problem-solving over partisanship with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for all Iowans. I am committed to public service and I believe that I have the ability, experience and judgement to make a positive difference in the Iowa Legislature.”
Incumbent Linda Upmeyer, of Clear Lake, announced earlier this year that she was stepping down as Speaker of the House for the upcoming session and did not plan to seek re-election to the seat.
House District 54 includes Clear Lake, the western third of Cerro Gordo County, all of Franklin County, and the northwestern part of Butler County.
“If I enter the race my goal will be to build a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and In-