Glasson 'all in' on campaign for governor

Coralville union leader joins six Democrats already in the race

Cathy Glasson speaks as she announces her bid for for the Iowa governor race at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cathy Glasson speaks as she announces her bid for for the Iowa governor race at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — After a 100-day “Listening to Iowa” tour, nurse Cathy Glasson declared herself “all in for a better future for Iowa” and Tuesday officially joined the race for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor.

She pledged to take on the Capitol political establishment and give working Iowans a reason to stand in line to vote.

Her campaign, Glasson said at her announcement at the DoubleTree Hotel & Convention Center in Cedar Rapids, is about “real Iowans … who feel ignored and left out, who fight to make it every day in an economy that’s rigged for the billionaires and the bosses, hardworking people who try to get ahead, but keep getting left behind.”

The movement, as Glasson called it, is about “stepping up for a bold progressive future, never backing down to the lobbyists and the CEOs (and) demanding that working people like us have a seat at the table.”

“Remember this day, because it’s the day we chose a new future for Iowa,” Glasson told a crowd of more than 50.

Felicia McCoats, a Service Employees International Union member from Milwaukee who knows Glasson through union activities, said, “Iowans will win if Cathy is governor because not only is she a Democrat, but she’s union, too.”

Glasson, 58, of Coralville joins six other Democrats seeking the party’s nomination. They are former U.S. agriculture official and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member John Norris; Sen. Nate Boulton of Des Moines; former Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire; former Des Moines school board President Jon Neiderbach; Iowa State University diversity officer Ross Wilburn; and businessman Fred Hubbell.


Championing progressives values won’t be easy, Glasson said, because “when citizens demand their fair share, when we take on the bosses and the billionaires, the politicians don’t just roll over. They fight tooth and nail to keep their power.”

Jean Miller, a retired nurse from Solon, who has known Glasson for 22 years and worked with her to organize nurses at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, agrees with her that “this year in Iowa they’ve met their match” in Glasson and her supporters.

“I believe in her ability to carry the state forward,” said Miller, who introduced the candidate. “She’s all about improving people’s lives as a nurse, an organizer, negotiator and union president.”

Immediately following the kickoff that was livestreamed to locations around Iowa, teams of volunteers were scheduled to hit the streets to knock on doors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Sioux City, Des Moines, Waterloo, Davenport, Ames and Burlington.’

Glasson also released a video featuring 12 Iowans she met on her tour. The video is at

Wednesday, Glasson will have a Statehouse news conference to announce an agriculture and environment advisory team, and later be endorsed by Johnson County area elected officials at a fundraiser at The Mill with singer-songwriter Iris DeMent.

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