Government

AFSCME union endorses Democrat Fred Hubbell

Public employee union backed Boulton in primary

Fred Hubbell meets with law enforcement and mental health professionals Nov. 14 in Iowa City. The Democrat, who won the June 5 primary, was endorsed Tuesday by AFSCME, the union representing state workers.  (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Fred Hubbell meets with law enforcement and mental health professionals Nov. 14 in Iowa City. The Democrat, who won the June 5 primary, was endorsed Tuesday by AFSCME, the union representing state workers. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Fred Hubbell has received the endorsement of the AFSCME Council 61, the latest sign that Democratic-aligned forces are getting behind his candidacy for governor.

Hubbell topped a five-person field last week to win the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination.

The AFSCME union, the state’s largest representing public workers, backed state Sen. Nate Boulton in the primary, jumping in early to support the Des Moines labor attorney. When Boulton dropped out of the contest a few weeks before the June 5 primary, the union said it was too late to shift its endorsement.

On Tuesday, Danny Homan, the president of the union, said in a statement, “As far as we are concerned, the difference between the Reynolds administration and a Hubbell administration is night and day.”

Homan criticized the move to significantly curtail the collective bargaining rights for most public employees in 2017, a decision backed by Gov. Kim Reynolds and implemented by Republican legislators and then Gov. Terry Branstad.

Homan said Hubbell would seek to reverse the move. “Fred Hubbell presents a vision and a plan for finally turning this state around,” Homan said.

Homan also cited budget cuts and the decision to put the state’s Medicaid under the management of private insurance companies as reasons for the endorsement.

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