Fred Hubbell added to his list of endorsements from state legislators today – Democratic State Representative John Forbes of Urbandale announced his support of the Des Moines businessman’s campaign. Forbes’ backing adds another lawmaker who’s been heavily involved in crafting healthcare policy at the Statehouse on to Hubbell’s team. Both Forbes and Matt McCoy, who endorsed Hubbell back in October, have been working together on pushing a public option in the state’s Medicaid program. Forbes has also been a leader on renewable energy issues.
“Under the Branstad-Reynolds Administration, Iowans have borne the brunt of wave after wave of severe reductions in access to quality health care. I am supporting Fred for governor, because Iowa deserves a leader who will put the health of Iowans first,” Forbes said in a statement. “As governor, Fred will reverse disastrous Medicaid privatization, address Iowa’s mental health crisis, and work to ensure every Iowan has access to the quality, affordable health care they deserve.”
Hubbell has been very critical of Governor Kim Reynolds’ Medicaid privatization approach, and has promised to reverse the change if elected. Legislators like Forbes would likely be a key part of Hubbell’s efforts to come up with new healthcare solutions in office.
“Under Reynolds’ watch, Iowans who need health care the most – the disabled, mentally ill, elderly, and children – have suffered the most with cuts or limited services for needed care,” Hubbell said. “As governor, I look forward to working with Representative Forbes and the health care community to expand access to quality, affordable health care, and put an end to this inhumane and needless suffering.”
In addition to Forbes’ backing, the Hubbell campaign also rolled out the endorsements of six former legislators: Jackson County Senator Roger Stewart, Cedar Rapids Senator Bob Rush, Black Hawk County Representative Bill Witt, Oelwein Representative Steve Falck, and Linn and Johnson County Representative and former head of the Iowa Department on Aging Ro Foege.
While the endorsement competition can sometimes be a fun part of the campaign to watch, it could also have real significance for Iowa government after the election. As 2018 looks more and more likely to be favorable to Democrats, the likelihood of one of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates winning turns more people’s attention to who might fill out a potential future administration. Someone like Forbes could become an important department head, and any number of these experienced backers might land key roles throughout a Hubbell-run government.
by Pat Rynard