Hubbell stresses change ahead of Election Day

Hubbell makes final stop in Johnson County before Election Day.


Nick Rohlman

Democratic gubenetorial candidate Fred Hubbell addresses campaign volunteers at a canvassing staging location in the Home of volunteer Janice Wiener on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

Julia DiGiacomo, Politics Reporter

In the final 48 hours before the election polls close, Iowa governor candidate Fred Hubbell, a Democrat, stopped in Iowa City to thank his most committed, longtime supporters.

On the afternoon of Nov. 5, the candidate reiterated the main goals of his campaign, expressed gratitude to volunteers, and roused supporters for the short stretch ahead.

He faces Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds in the race for governor.

Although the event was not open to the general public, Hubbell and a group of about 20 supporters congregated in the home of Janice Weiner, a Hubbell volunteer who ran unsuccessfully in the Iowa Senate District 37 June primary against current Democratic candidate Zach Wahls. 

“My basement is your basement,” Weiner said. “This election really is an election that’s all about the soul of our state and our country.”

As Election Day rapidly approaches, Hubbell said he and his team are feeling very optimistic, yet not taking anything for granted.

“We’re working hard everywhere we can, trying to reach as many voters as we can to let them know our priorities and get them out to vote,” he said.

While addressing the small gathered crowd, Hubbell emphasized the ways in which he hopes to change Iowa, including moving away from privatizing Iowa Medicaid, improving education, addressing mental-health services, and funding efforts to address air and water quality.

He also specifically thanked state Sen. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, for her support since the beginning of his campaign.

In order to allocate more funds to protect Iowa air, water, and topsoil, Hubbell said he hopes to gather a bipartisan group of legislators to vote to fund the Outdoor Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Hubbell said he hopes to raise the state’s minimum wage, while allowing places like Iowa City to raise it higher if desired in an effort to restore local control.

“We need to give more control back to local communities,” he said.

Weiner’s basement filled with Iowa City community members committed to supporting Hubbell. Many said they logged hours and hours of volunteering for his campaign. Volunteer Alice Haugen said she has spent about 92 hours canvassing for Hubbell since August. She is currently feeling hopeful for Election Day results.

“We need people in state government who are responsive to what people actually need,” Haugen said. “Things like privatizat[ed] medicaid is so disruptive to actually getting the job done that the current Republicans have shown that they do not understand what the state needs.”

Current Republican incumbent Iowa Gov. Reynolds supports her predecessor’s decision to transition the state-run health-care system to management by private managed-care organizations. Reynolds, who visited Coralville Sunday and Cedar Rapids Monday morning, has said she wants to make tweaks to the system. She criticizes Hubbell’s plan, contending he doesn’t know how to pay for a Medicaid transition.

Hubbell said he has been meeting with small groups of supporters all over the state, citing that volunteers are what energize campaigns.

“Small groups like this really add up and make a big difference,” he said. It’s important to get together as often as possible.”