SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — With election season underway, political ads for Iowa’s State Senate District 1 race have been plentiful in Siouxland. That’s partially due to the amount of money involved in the campaigns.
Democratic Senator Jackie Smith and Republican candidate Rocky De Witt both have received more than $250,000 from their respective parties for their campaigns.
They said they were surprised by the amount. Republican candidate Rocky De Witt said campaigning for senator has been a much different experience compared to his previous campaigns in Woodbury County.
“With the county races, obviously those are much lower money if you will because mostly everything that a county candidate spends comes from local, within a couple counties at most,” he said.
And he said it’s not just the extra money that makes this campaign feel different.
“On the state side, this has a state wide impact, so the party has done a lot of research,” he said. “I’ve looked at her voting record, and obviously they have too, so there’s a lot more to go off of in a state level race and therefore a lot more money for advertising to get the word out and get her record out there.”
Incumbent Senator Jackie Smith said while a lot of money is involved in the race, she still tries to keep her tactics the same.
“Of course, this is a unique campaign because every campaign is different,” she said. “Personally, I still believe in good old fashioned door to door campaigning so it hasn’t changed my behavior at all.”
While she said her party’s advertisements are effective, she said she has mixed feelings about how much money is dedicated to political campaigns
“I would like to see state campaigns limited on how much they can spend,” she said. “I don’t have a number. It’s probably not a wildly popular idea at the moment and the reason you see the ads is because they do drive people to the polls.”
Both candidates said redistricting has definitely impacted their respective campaigns.
“It’s leveled out some of the numbers,” De Witt said. “It’s a little more balanced right now let’s say. It was quite the deficit for the Republicans two years ago. That’s much leveled out now which I think is fair.”
“The district is 98% what it was before and it grew by two percent and that had to do with the population shift moving out of the district,” Smith said. “So, I wasn’t surprised that I was going to have a little bit bigger district. I had been a county supervisor before, so representing Lawton just felt like going back home. I think it’s great.”