It appears more likely than ever that businessman Fred Hubbell will capture the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on June 5th. His chief rival, state Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) yesterday suspended his campaign in response to several sexual harassment claims. The move assuredly ends Sen. Boulton’s statewide efforts, though it is too late to remove his name from the ballot. The eventual Democratic nominee would then challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who is running for her first full term after succeeding former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) upon the latter’s appointment as US Ambassador to China.
A new Selzer & Company survey for the Des Moines Register newspaper and Mediacom cable television provider (5/13-15; 501 IA likely voters) again tested the Iowa Democratic gubernatorial primary as the June 5th nomination vote quickly approaches.
Fred Hubbell, a retired businessman who has been spending heavily on media advertising, leads the Democratic pack of candidates with 31% followed by state Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) with 20%, and nurses’ union leader Cathy Glasson posting 13 percent. Three other candidates record support numbers only in single digits. If no candidate exceeds 35% support in the June 5th vote, a state convention will be called to choose a nominee. The eventual winner faces Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) who stands for her first election. She ascended to the Governorship when incumbent Terry Branstad (R) became US Ambassador to China.
According to a new Remington Research survey (5/5-6; 2,315 IA likely Democratic primary voters; automated), businessman Fred Hubbell (D), who has been advertising heavily as the nomination campaign moves into its final month before the June 5th primary election, has developed a large lead. The results find Mr. Hubbell capturing 46% of the polled Democratic respondent group. State Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) is far back with 20%, followed by four other candidates all registering below 8% preference. The winner will challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in November. Ms. Reynolds, the state’s Lt. Governor until incumbent Terry Branstad (R) was appointed US Ambassador to China, is running for her first full term.
The percentage garnered in the June 5th primary is important. Under Iowa election law, if no candidate receives at least 35% of the vote a convention will be assembled for delegates to choose a nominee. This data suggests that the Democratic convention would be avoided.
- Jim Ellis
The signature petition process has officially claimed another victim. Earlier, an Iowa election review panel ruled that former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (R) fell short of submitting the required 4,055 legal petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. Disputing the ruling, Mr. Corbett ultimately took his argument to court, but now his candidacy has ended. Yesterday, a Polk County District Judge upheld the Iowa State Objection Panel’s ruling that Mr. Corbett did not qualify.
After the decision was made public, the former Mayor said he would end his challenge and accept the ultimate result that he would not be allowed to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds in the Republican primary. This means that the new Governor will run unopposed for the party nomination. Ms. Reynolds became Governor when incumbent Terry Branstad (R) resigned his office last year to accept President Trump’s appointment as US Ambassador to China.
Real estate developer Theresa Greenfield’s congressional candidacy was seesawing between qualifying for the ballot and not during the past few days. Enough of Ms. Greenfield’s ballot petition signatures were ruled invalid to keep her from attaining official candidate status. After the Iowa State Objection Panel decided that she did not earn ballot placement, the 3rd District Democratic Committee attempted to apply an obscure withdrawal law to override the panel’s decision, but in the end their efforts failed. When Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller issuing an opinion supporting the Objection Panel’s ruling, Ms. Greenfield announced that she will end her candidacy.
The administrative bungle is a major blow to Democratic chances of unseating two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter/Des Moines). Since the Committee fought hard to get her on the ballot, it is obvious that the party insiders felt Ms. Greenfield was their best candidate.
Earlier this week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett, the Mayor of Cedar Rapids, was disqualified from the ballot for being eight valid nominating petition signatures short of the 4,005 minimum statewide requirement. Earlier in the week he claimed not to have the funds to file a legal challenge, even though Mr. Corbett said he believed he would prevail in court. Yesterday, he reversed course and now will challenge the Iowa State Objection Panel’s decision to invalidate more than 100 signatures.
Mr. Corbett is challenging Gov. Kim Reynolds in the Republican primary. Always viewed as a long shot, Corbett is even in a more difficult situation if his campaign financial resources are so low that filing a legal challenge is questionable. Ms. Reynolds ascended to the Governorship when incumbent Terry Branstad (R) was appointed US Ambassador to China.
Way back in June of last year, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett launched a Republican primary challenge to new Governor Kim Reynolds, soon after she succeeded departing Gov. Terry Branstad who had been appointed US Ambassador to China. Yesterday, it appears that the Corbett challenge has ended before it officially began. The Iowa State Objection Panel ruled that Mr. Corbett did not submit enough valid petition signatures to qualify him for a ballot position. The minimum number of valid signatures for Iowa statewide candidates to obtain is 4,005. Mr. Corbett submitted only 4,088, according to reports, thus leaving him with no accuracy leeway. Immediately, 100 of those signatures were determined to be duplicates. Mr. Corbett has legal recourse but may not be able to finance a challenge. For now, Gov. Reynolds is unopposed for re-nomination.
Selzer & Company, Iowa’s most prominent political pollster, released the results of their first survey of the upcoming gubernatorial contest featuring new Gov. Kim Reynolds (R). According to the poll (1/28-31; 801 Iowa adults; 555 likely voters), Gov. Reynolds leads all of her announced opponents, but by small, or relatively small, margins. Against state Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines), Gov. Reynolds leads 41-37%. Her lead expands to 42-37% over wealthy businessman Fred Hubbell who has already been running television ads. Against former Obama Administration official John Norris, the margin grows to 41-30%, and 42-30% over former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Andy McGuire. Gov. Reynolds performs best against local union president Cathy Glasson (44-31%).
In a state that often hosts close election contests, tight margins against the top Democratic challengers aren’t particularly surprising. Ms. Reynolds was elected Lt. Governor in 2014, and ascended to the Governor’s office when incumbent Terry Branstad (R) was appointed US Ambassador to China.
For a state with just four congressional districts, the Iowa Governor’s race is attracting major financial resources according to the latest state financial disclosure report. Incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has so far raised $3.7 million and carries $4.1 million as cash-on-hand. Her Republican primary opponent, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett showed income of $844,000 with cash reserves of $579,000.
Big money is flowing on the Democratic side, both in terms of fundraising and candidate contributions with three candidates already exceeding the $1 million mark for the June primary. Businessman Fred Hubbell raised $2.9 million and has $1.2 million in the bank. Service Employees International Union official Cathy Glasson also cracked the $1 million barrier, bringing in $1.3 million, and now has $729,000 in her campaign account. State Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) also broke into seven figures, raising $1.1 million with $481,000 remaining.
The early activity suggests that we will see a competitive general election after a hotly contested Democratic primary is decided.
The Insight, LLC survey research firm tested the Iowa Democratic gubernatorial primary (8/8-10; 762 IA likely Democratic primary voters) and found that businessman Fred Hubbell, largely because of his early advertising campaign, has jumped out to the early lead. According to the result, Mr. Hubbell would command 22% support. He is followed by state Sen. Nate Boulton (D-Des Moines) with 13%. All of the other candidates: SEIU labor union leader Cathy Glasson, John Norris, the former chief of staff to then-Gov. Tom Vilsack, ex-state Democratic Party chairman Andrea McGuire, former Des Moines School Board president Jonathan Neiderbach, and Ross Wilburn, the ex-Iowa City Mayor, all fall under 7% support.
Under Iowa election law, a party nominee must receive 35% of the primary vote. Failure for anyone to reach this support number means a state convention would be called for purposes of choosing the nominee. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who ascended to her position when incumbent Terry Branstad (R) was appointed US Ambassador to China, will seek her first full term in the Hawkeye State’s top political position.
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