Todd Prichard Promises A Fight To Win Back Blue Collar Voters

A packed room of nearly 100 Democratic activists in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood gave Todd Prichard a positive reception Tuesday night as chatter increases over his likely run for the governor’s office. Prichard, a state representative from Charles City, previewed a very early version of a stump speech, focusing on several stories from his blue collar upbringing in Davenport and his service in Iraq. “I am considering a run for Governor,” Prichard acknowledged right off the bat to the gathered crowd, adding that he’s doing his due diligence to get around the state and listen to voters. He spoke to local […]

Eyeing Gubernatorial Run, Todd Prichard Puts Focus On Pocketbook Issues

For a party that hasn’t seen a major, non-presidential statewide victory in over a decade, Iowa Democrats are looking for a special kind of candidate in 2018: one that can win. Friends of State Representative Todd Prichard believe he could fill that role, and Prichard is now strongly considering a run for governor. On paper, Prichard, 42, fits many of the qualities Democrats say they want more of in their statewide candidates: an Iraq War veteran, younger, represents rural Iowa, and personally understands working-class issues. That certainly sounds to many like the profile of a Democrat who could win back the […]

Liz Mathis Passes On Gubernatorial Run

State Senator Liz Mathis has decided against running for governor, she announced at a meeting of the Northwest Des Moines Democrats tonight. Her decision ends months of speculation of whether the popular Eastern Iowa legislator would look to lead Democrats at the top of the ticket in 2018. Mathis was widely considered the likely front-runner in a Democratic primary and one of the strongest potential statewide candidates in the general election. A TV reporter and anchor for 25 years, she is extremely well-known and trusted in the Cedar Rapids media market, which covers most of the Democratic and swing counties in the state. […]

Who Is Rich Leopold, Democrats’ 1st Gubernatorial Candidate?

The race for Iowa Governor in 2018 got kicked off on the Democratic side today, with Polk County Conservation director Rich Leopold announcing his candidacy. Leopold made his intentions official with a video of his announcement in his town of Huxley on his Facebook page, and he spoke with Starting Line yesterday. “I’m a scientist by trade, a biologist, but I’ve never run for elected office before,” Leopold told Starting Line. “I’m tired, like most people are, of what the politicians have been up to. Regardless of intentions, the results have not been there, whether we talk about education, water […]

Ron Corbett Looks To Challenge Kim Reynolds For Iowa Governor

In a radio interview this morning with Simon Conway on WMT Radio, Republican Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett announced he will not seek reelection for mayor. Instead he is taking a very serious look at challenging Kim Reynolds for Iowa Governor in 2018. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey declined to primary eventual-Governor Kim Reynolds for the Republican nomination shortly after the announcement that Terry Branstad would be nominated as President-Elect Donald Trump’s ambassador to China. That would make Reynolds the incumbent running for reelection in 2018, rather than a Lt. Governor seeking the office on her own. That situation makes a potential primary challenge […]

Iowa Governor Now Top Pick-Up Opportunity For Democrats

The path back to victory for Democrats will start with a host of gubernatorial races in 2018, with many of the most competitive contests located in the Midwest. Of the 38 governorships up in 2018, 27 are held by Republicans, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, all places that flipped away from Democrats this year. Iowa could quickly emerge as a top target for the party and a key opportunity to reverse the rightward trend in the state. With Iowa Governor Terry Branstad getting picked for the ambassador job to China, it ensures the Democrats won’t have to deal with yet another […]

Bye Bye Branstad. Hello Governor Reynolds.

It’s official: Terry Branstad will be the next ambassador to China. Donald Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the President Elect announced Branstad’s appointment at a fundraiser this morning. An official statement is expected later today, and there will likely be some sort of announcement or celebration of the move at Trump’s rally in Des Moines tomorrow. Branstad leaving the governorship for China will cause a massive sea change in Iowa politics. The longest-serving governor in American history, Branstad and his team wielded huge influence behind the scenes for Iowa Republicans for decades. His lasting popularity among Iowa voters allowed him […]

Andy McGuire Needs To Reconsider Her Gubernatorial Run

The worst kept secret in Iowa politics is that Iowa Democratic Party chair Andy McGuire is running for governor, and has been planning for it since before her election as party chair. Her path in a primary for 2018 was always going to be difficult if she faced serious opposition, but it has become near-impossible after Tuesday’s wipeout for Iowa Democrats. There were a ton of factors at play in Iowa’s drastic shift in Republicans’ favors. An unpopular presidential nominee that always had long-running problems with the state. A united Iowa Republican Party that kept defections from Trump to a minimum. […]

Ron Corbett Emerges From Floods Ready For 2018 Governor’s Race

Few words of politics were uttered as Cedar Rapids prepared for and experienced the floods of 2016. But the makings of Iowa’s next governor may have been forged in the tense week as the city battled back the second-highest ever crest of the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett was a constant, public presence for the city as sandbags were filled, plans were detailed and temporary flood barriers were erected. In just a few days, the city constructed nine miles of tall, impenetrable barriers to hold back the water. Many of the areas ravaged and destroyed from the 2008 flood evacuated. When […]

Time to Pull the Plug on Branstad’s Medicaid Mess?

A guest post from House Leader Mark Smith A few months ago, Governor Terry Branstad and Republicans privatized health care for over 500,000 Iowans on Medicaid. After months of delays, confusion, and scandal, Branstad’s privatization scheme is now officially a disaster. All around the state, we’ve been hearing horror stories from Iowans and local providers dealing with the new private, out-of-state companies Branstad picked to manage Medicaid (called MCO’s). Providers are facing huge financial burdens because of payment delays and lower reimbursement rates from the MCO’s. According to a recent survey, nearly 80% of providers said they aren’t getting paid […]