Fred Hubbell lands endorsement from former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge

Retired businessman also gets nod from Mike Matson

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Patty Judge, Iowa’s last Democratic lieutenant governor has endorsed Fred Hubbell for governor, citing his experience leading state agencies during her tenure.

“As lieutenant governor, I worked with Fred as he helped lead the fight against wasteful corporate tax giveaways, and helped clean up the film tax credit scandal at the Department of Economic Development,” said Judge, who served from 2007 to 2011 as Gov. Chet Culver’s second in command. She also served two terms in the Iowa Senate and two terms as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

The Hubbell campaign also announced the endorsement of Mike Matson, who had considered running for governor.

In addition to leading the state economic development agency, Hubbell led the Iowa Power Fund. In those roles, Judge said, he demonstrated an ability to invest in the revitalization of rural Iowa.

Hubbell, who is retired from running Equitable of Iowa, a life insurance company, and the Younkers department store chain, will “get things back on track, just like he did at Economic Development,” Judge said. He will invest in Iowa priorities: better education, quality health care for all, and vibrant communities — both urban and rural, she said.

Matson, a Davenport alderman and retired Army veteran, had toured the state for several weeks while contemplating a bid, but dropped out about a month ago, citing doubts about his ability to raise enough money.

“I’m endorsing Fred because he has the experience to fix our budget mess and reinvest in priorities like health care and education,” Matson said, adding that Hubbell will “get us back on track.”

Hubbell, like other Democrats in the race, has been critical of how tax incentives for businesses are being handled in the state, including the assistance approved for a data center to be built by Apple in the Des Moines area.

In addition to Hubbell, former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn, former Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire, former Des Moines school board President Jon Neiderbach, John Norris, former aide to Sen. Tom Harkin and Gov. Tom Vilsack, Sen. Nate Boulton of Des Moines and Coralville nurse and union president Cathy Glasson are running or exploring entering the race.

— Ed Tibbetts of the Quad-City Times contributed to this report.

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

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