Former Iowa City mayor Wilburn says he's running for governor

He joins six other announced Democratic candidates

Ross Wilburn.
Ross Wilburn.

There’s yet another candidate for the Democratic nomination for Iowa governor next year.

Ross Wilburn, a former mayor of Iowa City, said Monday he has jumped into the race.

He has been exploring a bid for several weeks.

“It’s time Iowans had government and a governor working for them the same way they work,” Wilburn said in a statement. “No fighting. No divisions. Just roll up our sleeves and get it done together.”

He added the campaign’s message is: “Let’s Be Iowa.”

Wilburn, who grew up in Davenport, said that on his agenda would be making Iowa healthier by working to improve the state’s environment and ensuring access to health care. He also said he would restore collective bargaining rights and address worries of Iowans who think they are being left behind.

Wilburn was elected the first African-American mayor in Iowa City in 2006. He served one term. He now lives in Ames and is the diversity officer and associate program director of Community and Economic Development at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wilburn said he planned to declare his candidacy at 2 p.m. Monday at the Iowa State Fair.

Wilburn joins a long list of Democrats seeking the party’s nomination. Also running are Iowa Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines; former Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire; Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell; Iowa Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City; John Norris, a former top aide to Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack; and former Des Moines School Board Chair Jon Neiderbach.

Cathy Glasson, the president of Service Employees International Union, Local 199, is still in the exploratory phase but is expected to announce her candidacy soon.

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