Government

Washington governor sees Hubbell as 'perfect candidate'

Democrat faults Reynolds as Trump 'enabler'

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, during the Friday taping of “Iowa Press,” said Fred Hubbell is the perfect challenger to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, “an enabler of the president’s practices.” Inslee is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and a possible presidential candidate in 2020. He is speaking in Des Moines on Saturday evening and meeting earlier in the day with Democrats in Linn and Johnson counties. (James Q. Lynch/The Gazette)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, during the Friday taping of “Iowa Press,” said Fred Hubbell is the perfect challenger to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, “an enabler of the president’s practices.” Inslee is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and a possible presidential candidate in 2020. He is speaking in Des Moines on Saturday evening and meeting earlier in the day with Democrats in Linn and Johnson counties. (James Q. Lynch/The Gazette)

JOHNSTON — Fred Hubbell is the perfect candidate for governor of Iowa, according to the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, who criticized Gov. Kim Reynolds for being a President Donald Trump “enabler.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is on the long list of Democrats who may seek the White House in 2020, called the contest between Reynolds, a Republican, and Hubbell a top-tier race and promised the association will spend “just enough” to elect the Democratic challenger.

“I think he is the perfect candidate, not only for his longtime leadership in so many things in Iowa, but he’s a person of civility and dignity,” said Inslee, who has called Trump a “liar” and referred to the White House as a “den of deceit.”

“People are concerned about the divisiveness and intolerance that have been fanned by the occupant of the White House, and you have an incumbent who has been an enabler of the White House, which is sort of sad,” he said Friday during taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.” The conversation will air on IPTV next weekend.

Inslee, who never mentioned Reynolds by name, dismissed the state’s economy, low unemployment and personal income growth, saying that her leadership over the past year has underfunded education and Medicaid.

“We were just at Plumbers and Pipefitters (union) who said they are having more difficulty because people are not getting the education they need to enter an apprenticeship program,” the Washington governor said.

He called Iowa’s privatized management of Medicaid an “embrace of Donald Trump’s efforts to essentially disable health care.”

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The Reynolds-Hubbell race will be one of the most competitive in the nation this fall, Inslee predicted, because it pits “an enabler of the president’s practices that are really threatening the economy and health of Iowans” against a Democrat who will be a “guardian against Donald Trump’s depredations.”

The Republican Party of Iowa was not surprised that Hubbell, “who doesn’t think Iowa is the best place to live, would bring in the governor of a ‘liberal stronghold’ to prop up his campaign,” spokesman Jesse Dougherty said.

“Fred’s embrace of Inslee shows voters what Hubbell is all about: Someone more interested in buying back the old family home than representing the interests of everyday Iowans,” he said.

Inslee will be the featured speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration in Des Moines on Saturday evening.

Before that, he will be at the Linn County Democrats’ campaign office, 2706 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, at 10:30 a.m. At 12:15 p.m., he will meet with Johnson County Democrats at 702 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City.

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

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