Seven more pitches for seven Iowa Democratic candidates for governor

To all the Democrats who want to hear directly from each contender in the Iowa governor’s race before deciding how to vote next June: this post’s for you.

Since Bleeding Heartland published seven pitches for gubernatorial candidates from a major party event this summer, Todd Prichard has left the race and Ross Wilburn has joined the field.

All seven Democrats running for governor appeared at the Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Des Moines on September 10, speaking in the following order: Cathy Glasson, Fred Hubbell, John Norris, Ross Wilburn, Jon Neiderbach, Andy McGuire, and Nate Boulton. I enclose below the audio clips, for those who like to hear a candidate’s speaking style. I’ve also transcribed every speech in full, for those who would rather read than listen.

As a bonus, you can find a sound file of Brent Roske’s speech to the Progress Iowa event at the end of this post. With his focus on single-payer health care and water quality, Roske should be running in the Democratic primary. Instead, he plans to qualify for the general election ballot as an independent candidate, a path that can only help Republicans by splitting the progressive vote.

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Pete Buttigieg on how Democrats can "flip the script"

“It is time for Democrats to stop treating the presidency like it’s the only office that matters,” said South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in one of the most memorable lines from his speech at the Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Des Moines on September 10. He missed a Notre Dame home football game weekend to spend time here, because in his view, we are facing “the most important season for progressives in our lifetime. And so much of what has to happen—so much of what has to change—starts right here in the middle of the country.”

Last year’s rout in state legislative races allowed Iowa Republicans to enact a long list of destructive policies. Although today’s school board elections are non-partisan, as are the city council and mayoral races in November, the turnout level and outcomes should provide some clues about whether Democrats and progressives are able to translate their anger into effective political action.

Buttigieg recognizes the challenges facing a party at a low point nationally and in states like Indiana and Iowa. On the plus side, he is convinced Democrats already have a message that can resonate with voters, and “It’s not even complicated.”

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IA-Gov: Read the messages Fred Hubbell is testing with Iowa Democrats

Are Iowa Democrats more likely to support a successful businessman who is not a politician? Are they sympathetic to the argument that a self-funding candidate for governor is less susceptible to influence by special interests? Are they more impressed by private- or public-sector jobs Fred Hubbell has held, or by his charitable giving to causes like Planned Parenthood?

A recent survey of Democratic voters appears to be the Hubbell campaign’s first attempt to answer those and other questions.

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