As the Democratic gubernatorial field continues to settle following Nate Boulton’s withdrawal, several former top Boulton supporters are backing Fred Hubbell this morning. Senators Bill Dotzler, Tony Bisignano, Representative Jerry Kearns and former Senator Tom Courtney – all previously with Boulton – announced they’re endorsing Hubbell today. And Senator Jim Lykam, Representatives Wes Breckenridge and Phil Miller also joined Hubbell’s team with them.
“As a union leader for more than four decades, I’ve seen firsthand how Republican rollbacks of workers rights have hurt our state’s future,” said Kearns of Lee County. “We need a governor who can restore support for workers, and that’s why I’m endorsing Fred’s candidacy for governor … Fred will work to restore Chapter 20 collective bargaining rights and reverse the disastrous workers compensation reductions.”
It’s a nice slew of legislative endorsements for Hubbell to show some momentum heading into the final days of the primary. Many had wondered where Boulton’s support would flow after he left the race. John Norris also won over a few former Boulton endorsers; Representative Bruce Bearinger and former Senator Brian Schoenjahn have backed Norris in the past few days.
Obviously, just because some high-profile endorsers from a past candidate’s campaign switches to someone new doesn’t mean that’s exactly how the bulk of their voters will go. But it’s still a positive sign for the candidates involved, especially with so little time to convince so many voters who lost their favorite in the race. And Hubbell’s pick-up of both Kearns and Courtney should give him some inroads into Southeast Iowa, where Boulton looked to be strong.
“As governor, I look forward to working hand-in-hand with them to restore collective bargaining rights, expand access to health care and education, and get our state back on track by investing in our long-term success,” Hubbell said of his new endorsements.
With Hubbell leading in the latest Iowa poll before Boulton’s exit at 31%, Hubbell only needs to capture a respectable share of Boulton’s vote to boost him over the 35% needed to win outright on June 5. Many are looking to see if Norris can catch fire at the end, and it seems like he is seeing some good progress, but he’ll still need to have a big jump in support (he was at 5% in the Iowa Poll) to catch up with Hubbell.
by Pat Rynard