Hubbell wins Democratic primary in Iowa governor race


Nick Rohlman

Iowa Democratic nominee for governor Fred Hubbell speaks at a campaign event at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City on Sunday, June 3. Hubbell will face off against incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds in November. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Fred Hubbell came out on top in Tuesday’s primary election as the Democratic nominee in the race for Iowa governor.

Hubbell defeated four other candidates — union leader Cathy Glasson, healthcare professional Andy McGuire, former state and federal official John Norris, and former Iowa City mayor Ross Wilburn.

The Associated Press called Hubbell’s victory 35 minutes after polls closed. Unofficial final results from the Iowa Secretary of State office show he received 55.52 percent of the vote with 98,013 votes. Hubbell’s lead was narrower in Johnson County where he received 44 percent of the vote.

Hubbell will face off against the incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds and Libertarian candidate Jake Porter in November.

“Tonight’s results send a very strong message. Iowa voters have had enough of the heartless and misguided policies and priorities that have taken our state backwards,” Hubbell said in a statement Tuesday night. “It’s time to move Iowa forward.”

Hubbell is a fifth-generation Iowan and University of Iowa College of Law graduate. After law school, Hubbell was the CEO of Equitable Iowa, a life insurance company and a past chair of the Iowa Power Fund and the retail store Younkers.

Hubbell led the primary season in fundraising at the end of May, when the last campaign disclosure reports were released, with approximately $3 million. Of that, $2.1 million was self-funded, something which other candidates have critiqued him on.

“What do voters want: somebody who can buy the election or someone who can earn it by connecting with voters?” Norris said on Sunday while in Iowa City for a rally. “… It’s hard to make the argument in the fall to vote for me because I have a lot of money.”

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported Saturday that Hubbell added another $700,000 to his campaign on Friday.

RELATED: Hubbell leads in fundraising, polls ahead of primary

Hubbell ended his primary campaign with a series of events across the state in the last few days during his bus tour, which included speakers including Attorney General Tom Rice and former Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson.

“… We’ve worked hard to travel around the state and meet with people and talk to people and try and get them interested in our campaign, and I think that’s what we need,” Hubbell said Sunday while in Iowa City for a rally.

Glasson finished in second place in her first campaign for public office having received 20.47 percent of the vote with 36,131 votes. In her home county of Johnson County she received 30 percent of the vote with 5,094 votes.

While her campaign for Governor is over, Glasson’s campaign manager Brian Shepherd said the movement she created is not.

“This campaign was never about me,” Glasson said during a speech to supporters Tuesday night. “From the beginning, over a year ago, it’s always been about each of you demanding a seat at the table and a real voice in your government again.”

Having received 11.44 percent of the vote with 20,200 votes, Norris came in third place. His support was 3 percent higher in Johnson County where he received 14 percent of the vote with 2,357 votes.

By 313 votes, McGuire narrowly came in fourth place in the polls, having received 5.24 percent of the vote with her campaign that put its focus on the people of Iowa.

Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, received 5.07 percent of the vote despite suspending his campaign May 24 after three women accused him of sexual misconduct. Early voting started May 7, more than two weeks prior to the suspension of his campaign.

RELATED: Boulton suspends gubernatorial campaign after sexual-misconduct allegations

Wilburn finished his campaign having received 2.16 percent of the vote. In his come county of Johnson County he received 5 percent of the vote, beating out McGuire and Boulton.

— Emily Wangen

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