Rep. Ras Smith. (file photo)

The first candidate to officially declare they’re running for governor in 2022 made the announcement online this morning.

“My name is Ras Smith and I’m running for governor because I believe that Iowa’s greatest days are ahead of us,” he said in an introductory video.

Smith, a 33-year-old Democrat from Waterloo, has been a member of the Iowa House since 2017 and a member of the House Black Caucus. He was part of the bipartisan group who negotiated a police reform law that passed the legislature unanimously. In his announcement video, Smith said Iowans “are all searching for the same things:  a safe community to live and raise our families, opportunities to succeed no matter where you live or where you come from.”

Smith will speak at a campaign rally in Waterloo late this afternoon. Other Democrats have said they’re considering a run for governor, but have not made a declaration yet. Earlier this month Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said she intends to seek reelection, but will make a formal announcement later.