Iowa State University professor Dirk Deam won’t be running for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 4th District this cycle. His now-ended campaign informed Starting Line that some new family health obligations will keep him from devoting the full time he felt he needed to run an all-in candidacy.
Kim Weaver was already strongly favored to carry the primary, considering her name recognition with Democratic activists and newfound fundraising abilities. Deam, well-liked and respected by students and activists in Ames, may have emerged as a real threat to her over time, but Weaver now has an easy path to the nomination.
That may be concerning to some Iowa Democrats who have become worried in recent weeks over Weaver’s viability in a general election after news of her past part-time work as an internet psychic was reported on. Weaver largely escaped close scrutiny from Republicans in her 2016 race against Steve King, but she could draw more attention this time as her fundraising hauls sets her up as a more-serious contender.
There’s still plenty of time for another credible contender to join the race, but no major names have emerged yet.
Deam is the third potential Democratic candidate who’s decided against a congressional run after previously considering it this year. Mike Sherzan ended his most-recent attempt for the 3rd District the other week, while Brent Oleson has reportedly backed off his thoughts of a 1st District run.
The opposite is happening in the governor’s primary.
Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell is the talk of the rumor mill this week, who is supposedly weighing a run for Terrace Hill and consulting with potential campaign staff. Hubbell, a major political and charitable-giver, would come to the race with the biggest financial advantage, along with a well-known and respected name. Several Democratic insiders had approached Hubbell late last year to encourage him to run, but he seemed uninterested at the time.
The lack of a clear front-runner – and relatively quiet campaigns at this point – seems to be attracting every potential Democrat into the race. Hubbell would be the sixth Des Moines-area resident to consider a run – the others are Andy McGuire, Nate Boulton, Rich Leopold, Jonathan Neiderbach and John Norris. Seven if you consider that Jack Hatch hasn’t completely ruled it out yet.
by Pat Rynard