Government

Hubbell, Hart want to forge 'common agenda' with Iowans

Democratic nominee for Gov. Fred Hubbell (from left) asks a question as Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. and State Sen. Rita Hart (D-Wheatland) looks on at the Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa in Coralville on Monday, Jun. 18, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Democratic nominee for Gov. Fred Hubbell (from left) asks a question as Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. and State Sen. Rita Hart (D-Wheatland) looks on at the Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa in Coralville on Monday, Jun. 18, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Don’t look for Fred Hubbell to break into song at a campaign event.

“I don’t think anybody would want to listen to that,” the Democratic nominee for governor said Tuesday during a stop at The Gazette offices. But the fact his running mate Sen. Rita Hart is willing to stand up “whether it’s a funeral or wedding or a birthday or a family get-together and sing” gives him confidence his choice for lieutenant governor is “clearly somebody I can trust to take our message out all across the state.”

“Everything I’ve learned, so far, reinforces my decision to want her on our campaign team,” said Hubbell, who described their political partnership as “still in the early stages.”

They’re getting to know each other, Hart said. “It’s very encouraging to me to find out what he thinks about things, about how he approaches life.”

She’s learning as they go, especially about his approach to economic development.

“His experience is deep and vast, so it’s been great to find out that he’s easy to talk to and willing to share his knowledge and very willing to listen to what I think about it,” Hart said.

Overall, Hubbell said, they agree on most issues and on being “an administration that represents all Iowans, not just some. We want to find a common agenda.”

Hubbell and Hart are traveling around Iowa this week on their Iowa Forward Tour to introduce themselves to voters. Hubbell expects that soon enough they will divide to conquer the state before the November general election.

“We got to figure out how do we take these two people who have different backgrounds and experiences and how do we attack the state so we can meet with as many voters in as many counties, in as many communities as possible,” Hubbell said.

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“The beauty of our relationship is that I think we trust each other well enough, and agree on enough issues, that regardless of who’s where, we’re talking about the same things. Both listening. Both sharing from every meeting.”

Hubbell, a retired Des Moines businessman who led Younkers and Equitable Life, believes their differences complement each other. Hart, a Charles City native, now farms in Clinton County near Wheatland and is a former teacher who has served in the Iowa Senate for six years.

“We share the ability to listen, to listen to the other side,” Hart added. “We have a true interest in figuring out what’s the best policy. It’s refreshing to me to have those kinds of conversations.”

They will face Republicans Gov. Kim Reynolds and Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. The race is rated a tossup, and the Republican and Democratic governors’ associations are making it a priority to win.

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

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