Government

Neal Smith, longest-serving Iowan in U.S. House, endorses Joe Biden for president

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell (left) shakes hands with Neal Smith (right), the longest-serving Iowan in the U.S. House of Representatives, during the Iowa State Democratic Convention on June 16, 2018, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Smith, 99, has endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell (left) shakes hands with Neal Smith (right), the longest-serving Iowan in the U.S. House of Representatives, during the Iowa State Democratic Convention on June 16, 2018, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Smith, 99, has endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The longest-serving Iowan ever in the U.S. House of Representatives, Neal Smith, has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, calling him “the most equipped to handle our challenges from day one and to win back the White House for Iowa,” Biden’s campaign announced.

Smith, 99, a Democrat, served from 1959 to 1995 representing the Des Moines area first in the 5th Congressional District and later in the 4th District, overlapping with Biden’s time as senator of Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Smith credited Biden’s understanding the needs of Iowa families and businesses, and championing their cause.

“Joe has the cool and deliberate disposition, and the straight-shooting common sense that disarmed even the most stubborn opposition across the aisle,” Smith said in a news release from Biden’s campaign.

Smith, who is the namesake of the 26-mile Neal Smith Trail and a federal building, both in Des Moines, recalled working with Biden to establish the Violence Against Women Act that “helped bring domestic violence out of the shadows,” and to develop insurance safety net programs when natural disasters such as severe flooding strikes.

• Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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