Government

Although not unions' first choice, Hubbell predicts labor, Democratic unity in 2018 campaign

Democratic nominee for Governor Fred Hubbell waves to the crowd during his election night party at The River Center in Des Moines on Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Democratic nominee for Governor Fred Hubbell waves to the crowd during his election night party at The River Center in Des Moines on Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Fred Hubbell stopped by a Cedar Rapids union hall Sunday afternoon to thank the people who helped deliver a record Democratic turnout in the primary election last week that gave him the party’s nomination for governor.

He acknowledged that the 50-some people at the IBEW 405 hall didn’t all vote for him, “but now we all need to come together … (because) the goal is to take out Gov. Kim Reynolds.”

Joined by area lawmakers and legislative candidates, Hubbell said it will take a unified effort to defeat the GOP majorities and “end the fiscal mismanagement and extreme priorities these Republicans have perpetrated on Iowa.”

“If we don’t, you can imagine what Iowa will look like in four years,” the retired Des Moines businessman said. “It’s going to be Kansas. Or Oklahoma. That’s where they’re taking us.”

Hubbell reminded his audience what Republicans have done in the past two years while in control of the Iowa House, Senate and governor’s office — stripping public employee collective bargaining rights and making workers’ compensation changes unions opposed, passing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law and blocking state funds for Planned Parenthood.

“Two sessions. Eight months of work. Imagine if we give them four more years,” Hubbell said.

He called for balancing the state budget, which is required by law; stopping taxpayer giveaways to corporations; and investing in education, health care and infrastructure.

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“If you work hard for all of us Democrats for the next five months, I’m sure that every Democrat and myself will work very hard for you for the next four years,” Hubbell said.

That won’t be a problem, according to Doug Cook, vice president of International Association of Machinists 831 in Cedar Rapids.

“United? Definitely,” he said after listening to Hubbell. “We will get behind him. He’s talking to our leaders. We’re one.”

Later, Hubbell, who had fewer union endorsements than others in the six-way race for the nomination, downplayed the significance of his first post-primary event in Cedar Rapids being in a union hall.

“I think it’s great to meet in a union hall, but to be perfectly honest, the union made it available for a Democratic Party event that we were a part of,” he said.

He predicted the unions and the party will work well together to elect Democrats.

“I think what we’ll find is Democrats will be united,” Hubbell said. “People are frustrated, they’re angry. They’ve seen two sessions. They don’t want to see eight more. They’re afraid of that.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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