Maria Bribriesco will challenge Roby Smith in Iowa Senate district 47

Maria Bribriesco announced today that she is running for Iowa Senate district 47 in 2014. The district covers parts of Scott County, including Bettendorf, some neighborhoods in Davenport, and several small towns. Before retiring, Bribriesco was a longtime civilian attorney with the U.S. Army at Rock Island Arsenal, a major employer in the Quad Cities. I’ve posted her campaign press release containing more biographical information after the jump, along with a detailed map of the district. In 2012, Bribriesco unsuccessfully ran against State Representative Linda Miller in House district 94, which covers half of Senate district 47.

The Republican incumbent in Senate district 47 is Roby Smith, who defeated the previous senator Dave Hartsuch in the 2010 GOP primary. Although I haven’t heard anything official and Smith hasn’t updated his campaign website, I assume he will seek re-election next year. I enclosed the bio from his 2010 campaign website below. Smith is an assistant Senate minority leader and serves on the Senate committees on Appropriations, Ways & Means, State Government, and Education (where he is the ranking member).

I consider Smith favored to hold Senate district 47, which contained 13,959 registered Democrats, 15,667 Republicans, and 19,813 no-party voters as of October 2013. However, last year Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in Senate district 47 by 50.65 percent to 48.31 percent.  

Iowa Senate Democrats press release, October 23:

Former Rock Island Arsenal attorney announces candidacy for Senate District 47

BETTENDORF – Maria Bribriesco, a former attorney advisor to the U.S. Army at the Rock Island Arsenal has announced her candidacy for the Iowa Senate in district 47. District 47 includes the cities of Bettendorf, Riverdale, Panorama Park, part of eastern Davenport and Pleasant Valley Township.

“This is a unique district, with many distinct communities,” said Bribriesco. “But we are united by our common challenges. We must continue to have economic stability, which includes not only thriving Main Streets and good-paying jobs, but also great local schools and a safe environment for our families.

“I am running for the Iowa Senate because I believe the politicians in Des Moines have lost sight of their job as lawmakers: which is to come together to solve problems for everyday Iowans. Instead they play politics and focus on divisive social issues, which do absolutely nothing for our Main Streets, our local schools or the economic future for Iowa families.

“I will listen to the people here,” added Bribriesco. “I will work hard every day of this campaign to find out what they are most concerned with and, if elected, work on those issues at the State Capitol.

Bribriesco spent twenty-seven years as a civilian attorney with the U.S. Army at Rock Island Arsenal, rising to the position of Chief Counsel to TACOM before retiring in 2011. She’s active in Ministry Gardens, an organization dedicated to supplying local food pantries, homeless shelters and meal sites in Scott County.

Maria and her husband, William have three grown sons: Alex, Anthony and Andrew. They also have three grandchildren: Ava, Liam, Marissa and another granddaughter due in November. The Bribriescos are active members of Our Lady of Lourds Catholic Church in Bettendorf.

“I hope I get a chance to talk with every voter in this district. I’m starting today by knocking doors and planning community events in Bettendorf, Riverdale, eastern Davenport and Pleasant Valley. But if we don’t get a chance to meet, I welcome anyone interested in my campaign, and interested in adding your voice into State Government, to contact me at (563) 505-5711 or email me at maria4ia@gmail.com.”

Biography from Roby Smith’s 2010 campaign website:

Let me introduce myself: my name is Roby Smith and I am the proud husband to Kari Smith. We have three beautiful children: Noelle (6), Kyle (3), and Adam (1). I was raised in the Midwest by two elementary educators. After my high school graduation, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a minor in Communication from Concordia University.

I am a small business owner based out of Bettendorf.  We are members at Trinity Lutheran Church, where we lead the high school youth group.

Every year I enjoy judging Invent Iowa and teaching Junior Achievement. As an Eagle Scout recipient, I am proud supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

In my free time, I enjoy coaching my daughter’s soccer team, playing sports, and studying history.

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