Des Moines businessman and philanthropist Fred Hubbell made it official today: he’s running for governor. He had started up an exploratory committee back in late May, and has been mostly been working behind the scenes the past two months with his campaign team to prepare a launch and flesh out their operation. He’s slowly introduced himself to activists at a handful of Democratic events, but hasn’t participated in any forums yet or embarked on a statewide trip.
Hubbell marked his announcement with a kick-off video, which shows him discussing Iowa’s economic opportunities with small business owners and workers, often with corn fields in the background. Several notable central Iowans appear in the video, including Jill June, Zach Mannheimer and Wayne Ford.
“Fred has made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people in Iowa,” June says at one point, alluding to Hubbell’s significant donations over the years to organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Also in the video, a Newton worker praises Hubbell’s involvement with the Iowa Power Fund.
“I’ve spent my life creating jobs, supporting our community, and fixing troubled state agencies when asked to serve our state,” Hubbell said in a press release. “As Governor, I intend to get Iowa growing. My priorities are clear: fix Iowa’s budget crisis, invest in education at all levels to create skilled employees for the future, help grow small and mid-size businesses, and get incomes rising across Iowa. We need to make healthcare more affordable and accessible throughout the state, and invest in modern infrastructure, including high-speed internet services.”
Hubbell has strong support from longtime liberal organization leaders in Central Iowa, which he and his wife have helped support with their time and funds for years. He certainly has the personal wealth to invest into his own race, and has reportedly already raised significant funds from his friends in the business and advocacy community.
Here’s Hubbell’s bio from the press release sent out this afternoon:
“Fred Hubbell is a community leader, job creator, and a dedicated husband and father.
Fred has Iowa in his bones. The Hubbell family settled in Iowa in the mid-1800s and founded some of early Iowa’s most successful businesses.
Fred met his wife, Charlotte, in law school at the University of Iowa. Fred went on to lead some of Iowa’s biggest businesses, employing thousands of Iowans – first, as Chairman of Younkers, an Iowa retail business with thousands of employees, and later as President of Equitable of Iowa, a life insurance company.
Fred Hubbell has a history of public service in Iowa. As Chairman of the Iowa Power Fund, he was tasked with investing state funds in the renewable energy sector, investments that helped spur Iowa’s growth into a leading producer of clean energy. Fred was also called upon to serve as interim director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, where he was brought in to clean up the film tax credit scandal which had been costing taxpayers millions. While interim director, he promoted economic growth in every corner of the state.
Fred was part of a small group of business leaders who raised over $8 million to help eastern Iowa recover from the devastating floods of 2008. Both Fred and Charlotte have been long time supporters and volunteers with organizations such as United Way of Central Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Urban Dreams, Simpson College, Broadlawns Medical Center, Des Moines Social Club, Iowa Environmental Council, and Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy.
Fred and Charlotte have three children and three grandchildren.”
by Pat Rynard