Des Moines State Senator Matt McCoy is endorsing Fred Hubbell in the Democratic gubernatorial primary today, praising the Des Moines businessman’s knowledge of the Iowa economy and lifetime of support for progressive causes. McCoy’s backing gives Hubbell his first endorser in the Iowa Senate, adding to a list of six Iowa House members and many former elected officials, including Sally Pederson and Patty Judge.
“Fred has always been very socially progressive, he and Charlotte, and when it comes to the environment, reproductive health and the issues we care about, he’s always been there,” McCoy told Starting Line. “He’s got an unimpeachable character. He’s just a real fine person. He has great business credentials, but he’s also a real gentleman in how he does business and how he operates. I think he’ll be fair and I think he has a love for Iowa.”
McCoy has known Hubbell for about 25 years, and talked with him during this campaign about Hubbell’s plans to retool Iowa’s Department of Economic Development to refocus on quality, well-paying jobs. The biggest topic on McCoy’s mind recently, however, has been the Department of Human Service’s well-publicized failures to protect children and seniors. He’s been looking for someone who can be a governing partner in turning that department around.
“That’s what tipped me over to Fred: his heart and how much he cares about others,” McCoy said of Hubbell’s focus on the less fortunate. “It would be an amazing asset to have somebody like Fred in the governor’s office who will make it a priority to protect vulnerable children and vulnerable elderly people that are being abused in this state … I like [new DHS Director] Jerry Foxhoven and I think he’s a good guy, but I think he’s working for a governor who won’t let him ask for more resources.”
Endorsements in these primaries can often range significantly in how effective they are – some are no more than a name on a press release. But McCoy hopes to make an impact and pull people over to Hubbell’s side.
“Ultimately, if we’re not willing to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty then we shouldn’t bother endorsing,” McCoy said. “I intend to offer everything I have to Fred to help him get over the line.”
And McCoy’s network – especially his social media network – might actually prove to be one of the more helpful in the primary. Over the past few years, McCoy has studiously worked on expanding his digital operation, and now has a Facebook page with more likes than the Iowa Democratic Party, with a reach of about two million views a month.
“I’m going to talk to them about why I support Fred Hubbell and I’m going to continue to keep them informed as the campaign goes on,” he said, adding that he’ll also be available as a campaign surrogate speaker, has a video ready and will push his volunteer network to get involved.
He’s also the only state senator to back Hubbell over colleague Senator Nate Boulton. Senator Bob Dvorsky initially backed Representative Todd Prichard, but 11 other senators have endorsed Boulton.
“We have a great field, I don’t want to disparage anyone in the field of candidates, but I just think Fred’s business acumen, experience, network and skills and lifetime of experiences make him the most qualified,” McCoy noted.
It also doesn’t hurt that Hubbell has a well-funded operation, something McCoy explained was necessary if Democrats want to get their message out in 2018.
“I think he has the capacity and resources to meet the demanding needs of what it’s going to take to win a primary and then be ready to square off with Kim Reynolds or Ron Corbett in the Fall,” McCoy said. “Resources have always been something we’ve struggled with as Democrats, and my sense is Fred has the capacity to raise the money and effectively message on his vision for Iowa.”
by Pat Rynard