Hubbell seeking Democratic governor's nomination

Des Moines businessman cites 'wrong priorities' in Iowa, his job creation experience

Fred Hubbell
Fred Hubbell

Retired Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell, who says he’s spent his life creating jobs and stepping up to fix troubled state agencies, is running for governor because he believes the politicians have the wrong priorities for Iowa.

“Politicians in Iowa — beholden to special interests and their re-election campaigns — have had the wrong priorities for the last seven years,” Hubbell said Monday in announcing that he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor.

“They have squandered a billion-dollar surplus with tax loopholes and corporate giveaways, resulting in a budget crisis,” he said. “They have consistently underfunded education, jeopardized Iowans’ health, and allowed incomes to stagnate, all while failing to protect Iowa’s precious natural resources and ensure clean water.”

Hubbell, 66, joins seven other Democrats who want to be governor.

In a campaign video announcement, Hubbell said wants to “get Iowa growing,” and his priorities are fixing Iowa’s budget, ensuring clean water, funding education at all levels, helping small and mid-size businesses and raising household incomes.

“We need to make health care more affordable and accessible throughout the state, and invest in modern infrastructure, including high-speed internet services,” said the former Younkers chairman and president of Equitable of Iowa.

In addition to that business experience, Hubbell was chairman of the Iowa Power Fund that invested state funds in renewable energy.

He also served as interim director of the Department of Economic Development to help clean up the film tax credit scandal that was costing taxpayers millions of dollars.


After the 2008 flood, he was part of a small group of businesspeople who raised more than $8 million to help Eastern Iowa recover.

He and his wife, Charlotte, have been longtime supporters and volunteers with organizations such as United Way of Central Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Urban Dreams, Simpson College, Broadlawns Medical Center, Des Moines Social Club, Iowa Environmental Council and Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy.

Hubbell plans workshops around the state to talk more about his plans.

Other Democrats seeking or considering seeking the nomination are former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn, Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City, 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, state Sen. Nate Boulton of Des Moines and Coralville nurse and union president Cathy Glasson.

For more on Hubbell, visit

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