U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (left) poses for a photo with Carroll High School senior Grant Smith before the Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner Friday in Cedar Rapids.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (left) poses for a photo with Carroll High School senior Grant Smith before the Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner Friday in Cedar Rapids.
May 13, 2013



Cedar Rapids

Grant Smith of Carroll had what one could call an eventful weekend.

On Friday, Smith, 18, a former page in the Iowa Senate, and a registered Republican, Smith sat at U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's table during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner in Cedar Rapids. Flash forward to Sunday: Smith graduated from Carroll High School.

"I just took my high school government class, and I was interested," Smith said of his involvement in politics. Smith described himself as an independent-minded Republican.

Smith took a photo with Paul and obtained his autograph. The two talked about Paul's now-famous filibuster on the issue of the U.S. government killing its own citizens on American soil.

"He seems like a pretty good guy," Smith said after leaving a VIP event at the Hotel Kirkwood with Paul, the Kentucky Republican who delivered the night's keynote address.

Smith, who had a front-row perch to watch Paul's nationally televised speech, also spent time with U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron.

The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives provided Smith with the ticket and seating arrangements for the event.

Smith, who plans to study education and politics at Drake University in Des Moines, is a son of Dr. Josh Smith and Wendy Smith.

As for the potential U.S. Senate candidacy of former GOP State Rep. Rod Roberts of Carroll, Smith sees potential.

"I know his wife (Trish) really well," Smith said. "She was my piano teacher when I was younger. I think he's very good. I know people from both sides of the aisle respect him. I think he'd make a good candidate because he's very well respected in all senses."

Smith spoke with Rod Roberts at the event Friday.