Former gubernatorial candidate Todd Prichard has made his pick for the office he sought earlier this year, reports Ed Tibbetts. The Charles City state representative announced today that he’s endorsing Fred Hubbell in the Democratic primary for governor.
“I’m endorsing Fred for two simple reasons: he would make an outstanding governor for all Iowans, rural and urban, and I know Fred can win in November and deliver the real results our state desperately needs,” Prichard said in a statement.
Prichard built up a loyal following during his bid for the party’s gubernatorial nomination earlier this year, and his support could help Hubbell with outreach to veterans and rural parts of the state. For the past few months, Prichard has hosted most of the Democratic candidates at his home in Charles City to help introduce them to local activists.
He joins his Iowa House colleague Chris Hall of Sioux City in supporting Hubbell – Hall’s endorsement was announced yesterday. The two together are a nice get for the Des Moines businessman’s campaign, and were some of the few relatively high-profile Democrats yet to endorse in the primary.
They’re also both from Republican-leaning areas of the state, with Prichard specifically making the electability case for Hubbell. That argument might start to factor into more Democrats’ minds as they look ahead to what will likely be a costly race against Republican Governor Kim Reynolds.
“Iowa is facing a severe budget crisis because of the fiscal mismanagement of our state led by Governor Reynolds,” Hall, who has led Democratic efforts on the budget, said in his statement. “We need a proven leader like Fred Hubbell with the vision and skill to get our state back on track and growing,”
Prichard was one of the first candidates to declare his interest in the gubernatorial race very early this year. After State Senator Liz Mathis decided against a run, it looked like Prichard, Andy McGuire and Rich Leopold might be the only main contenders for a time. Then the field grew exponentially, and Prichard wasn’t able to financially compete with some of the bigger names that jumped in, ending his candidacy in August. State Senator Nate Boulton’s consolidation of labor union support was seen as the biggest impediment to Prichard’s candidacy.
Another Democrat who was exploring a run for governor earlier this year, Mike Matson of Davenport, also endorsed Hubbell back in late August.
Hubbell and Boulton now each hold a significant amount of the endorsements from legislators, while McGuire and John Norris have a few as well (Des Moines State Representative Marti Anderson said yesterday she’d be supporting Norris).
by Pat Rynard