An Iowa Politics Primer Guide For Students

School has been back in session across Iowa for college and high school students for a few weeks now. While Donald Trump is certainly a constant topic of discussion, important Iowa campaigns are well underway for governor, Congress, the Iowa Legislature and other statewide offices. Starting Line thought it’d be helpful to put together a simple primer guide all in one place for those races and the overall dynamics of Iowa politics to help students who want to get a good baseline knowledge of what’s happening. Many politically-engaged students will already know this information. But perhaps they have out-of-state friends […]

O’Malley Backs Boulton; Will Other 2020 Hopefuls Endorse?

Frequent Iowa traveler Martin O’Malley lent Nate Boulton a hand this week in his gubernatorial bid, endorsing the senator on Tuesday and holding a fundraiser for him in Des Moines on Friday tonight. It was an expected move for the 2016 presidential candidate, who was supported by Boulton during his Iowa Caucus bid. But will O’Malley’s endorsement be the first of many of White House hopefuls choosing a side in Iowa’s many large primary fields? It depends. The O’Malley and Boulton connection is unique: O’Malley had a tight-knit, fiercely loyal groups of supporters during the Iowa Caucus, Boulton among them. […]

Todd Prichard Bows Out Of Gubernatorial Race

State Representative Todd Prichard withdrew from the Democratic primary for Iowa Governor today, his campaign announced. Prichard was one of the first candidates to form an exploratory committee back in March. He will instead run for reelection to his Charles City-based house seat in 2018. “It has been an honor to participate in the Democratic Party’s primary for governor over the last few months,” Prichard said in a press release. “I am humbled by the support I have received across the state. However, my responsibilities to my family, the Army, my constituents, as well as my small business must take […]

Kim Reynolds’ Disastrous First Months As Governor

For a brief moment this year, everything looked like it was falling perfectly into place for Kim Reynolds. Terry Branstad, her mentor, had ridden off into the sunset to a legacy-securing ambassador post in China. Reynolds’ inauguration went off without a hitch, making history as Iowa’s first female governor. Her campaign team started off strong with endorsements from nearly the entire Republican establishment. The party was united and excited for her governorship, while Democrats nationwide and in Iowa continued to look weak and fractured. And then Reynolds got to the governing part. Things began to quickly fall apart right off the […]

Iowa Starting Line Poll For Iowa Governor, 1st And 3rd Districts

We’re nearing the end of the announcement phase for most key races in Iowa for 2018. At this point most of the announced or exploring or “considering it” candidates are known, so I thought it’d be a good time to kick off a series of Starting Line polls. Throughout this year and next, we’ll run polls once or twice a month on various races, issues and random fun Iowa politics stuff. Share these posts with your friends and encourage them to vote! And if you want to make sure you hear about each new Starting Line poll, sign up for […]

Nate Boulton Solidifies His Base With AFSCME Endorsement

State Senator Nate Boulton landed his biggest endorsement yet this weekend at the AFSCME Council 61 state convention. The union that represents over 40,000 state workers voted to endorse Boulton, who rose to prominence early on this past legislative session by taking the lead on the collective bargaining fight. This adds to Boulton’s long list of labor unions that have decided to back him early on in the Democrats’ gubernatorial primary. A labor rights attorney whose father is a longtime Steelworker union official, Boulton now has the backing of 20 unions representing over 70,000 Iowa workers, including many large and […]

Fred Hubbell Has Already Raised $1 Million For Gubernatorial Campaign

Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell is already off to a fast start in the fundraising game for Iowa Democrats’ gubernatorial primary. Today his campaign announced that they have already raised a record-breaking $1 million in donations from individual Iowans. “I am truly humbled to have the support of Iowans in every corner of the state,” Hubbell said in a press release. “As we toured Iowa, we spoke with countless Iowans who believe politicians have put our state on the wrong track. Iowans are hungry for a leader who is not beholden to special interests. I’ve never run for political office, […]

John Norris Releases Video From His Announcement Tour

Two weeks ago John Norris set off on a six-day, 20-stop tour around Iowa to kick off his gubernatorial run, pulling in good crowds in particular at his Des Moines-area and Red Oak events. Today his campaign released a video with highlights from the tour, focusing in on scenes and excerpts that highlighted his rural background and appeal. Norris hit up a number of smaller towns on his announcement tour and during his exploratory phase, and is leaning hard on that message to show Democratic voters he can win back areas they’ve lost in recent elections. The video has many […]

Fred Hubbell Officially Launches Gubernatorial Bid – See The Video

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 […]

Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase. It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or […]