IA-Gov: Jack Hatch is in (sort of)

State Senator Jack Hatch announced on twitter and Facebook this evening that he will “take the next step on the road to Terrace Hill in 2014” tomorrow. It’s no surprise, since he had previously signaled his intention to challenge Governor Terry Branstad.

I will update this post tomorrow with details from Hatch’s announcement. His campaign website is here. Any comments about the governor’s race are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Added the official bio from Hatch’s website after the jump.

SECOND UPDATE: At a press conference on May 29 (audio at Radio Iowa), Hatch said he is exploring a run for governor and will tour Iowa for three months before deciding whether to pursue the campaign by the end of the summer. He hopes to raise $1 million by the end of this year. Hatch indicated that he will not run for governor if either Tom Vilsack or Chet Culver decide to seek the office again.

About Jack

Jack was elected in 2010 to his third term in the Iowa Senate. He represents central Des Moines, which includes some of the highest and lowest income families in the state.

Jack served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1985 to 1993. In 1993, he accepted the position of State Director with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. He returned to the Iowa House after winning election in November of 2000 and then won his first term to the Iowa Senate in 2002.

Presently, Jack is chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, State Government, Labor & Business Relations, and Appropriations committees.

During his legislative career, Jack is known for health care reform, children and family services, small business development and social and economic justice issues

Health Care.  In June of 2009, Jack was appointed chair of the White House Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform. In that capacity, he led state legislators, who are health reform experts from around the country, in advising the President and Congress on national proposals for health reform.

In the Iowa Legislature, Jack leads the fight in reforming Iowa’s health care system:

·        Led the Legislature’s comprehensive health care reform effort, including a commitment to health care coverage for all Iowa children (giving Iowa has the highest percentage of children covered of any state in the county).

·        Created the Community Health Center Incubator Program and the Iowa Collaborative Safety Net Provider Network.

·        Consolidated state efforts in creating health information technology.

·        Expanded access to public and private health insurance

·        Created prevention and chronic care management services

For his accomplishments in health care, Jack has been acknowledged as a leader in health care reform by the Iowa-Nebraska Primary Care Association, the Iowa Health Care Association, the Polk County Medical Society, Iowa Care Givers Association, American Chiropractic Association, Broadlawns Medical Center, Iowa Association of Homes & Services for the Ageing, the Iowa Academy for Family, SEIU,  the Iowa Dental Association, Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Iowa Public Health Association.

Children and families Services. Children and families have also been a major focus for Jack.  He protected many child welfare agencies from horrendous cuts and helped create new programs that protect children:

·        the HOPE child abuse protection services

·        college education for any Foster Care Children still under the state’s guardianship at the age of 18

·        expanded the aftercare program for Foster Care

·        provided leadership in expanding mental health services to children and families

·        expanded the families self sufficiency program

For this strong advocacy, Jack has been recognition for his work with children by the Youth Homes of Mid America, the Coalition for Family & Children’s Services in Iowa, the Iowa Community Action Association, Iowa Family Development Alliance, Orchard Place and Youth Emergency Shelter and Services.  

Small Business. As a small businessman, Jack knows the difficulty of keeping a business growing.  He sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to do the following:

·        reduced commercial property taxes

·        expanded state historic, Brownfield and Greyfield tax credits  

·        increased services for targeted small business

·        support for the Small Business Development Centers

·        proposed small business health care tax credits

·        created incentives for commercialization of university research

Senator Hatch received the ‘Community Spirit Award’ from the Des Moines Business Record publication and the Tai Village Development leadership award.

Social and Economic Justice

·        Co-sponsored Earned Income Tax Credits for low income earners

·        Co-sponsored Anti-Bullying reforms in our schools

·        Protection against discrimination to gays and lesbians in housing and employment

·        Support Women’s Right to Choose family planning

·        Co-sponsored Car Title and Payday Loan reforms

·        Sponsored Real Estate Appraisal Reforms

For his leadership, Jack received recognition as the Political Strategist Award from the Iowa Citizens Action Network, the Community Service Award Rob Borsellino/Beth El Jacob Award, and the Legislative Policy Award from the Progressive States Network.

Family. Jack and his wife, Sonja Roberts, live in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood in Des Moines. They work together in their businesses of a housing development company, Hatch Development Group and a property management company, Perennial Property Management Services, www.perennialproperties.com, which is managed by Sonja.

They have two daughters, Regan, 31, who is employed at Wells Fargo and married to Jay Simpson  And Caslon, 22, is a senior at Columbia College in Chicago studying broadcast journalism.

  • Caveats

    His “announcement” this morning contained some caveats that give me pause.  He says he needs to raise the big money by end of the summer (?) or end of the year (?) as an indicator that he can run a viable campaign.  Well, as a potential donor, I’m not sure I want to invest my early money unless I know my guy (or gal) is all in.

    And of course there is the Vilsack question – why won’t TV rule out a run, unless he is still keeping his options open?  TV now has one candidate saying publicly he’s hedging his bets, and who knows what’s going on in Tyler Olson’s mind?  Is he waiting for Vilsack as well?  Someone finally dragged Steve King off the dime,to clear the way for the GOP Senate field..Although not as a clear cut, maybe TV could finally make some sort of statement.  It is hurting his party.

    I believe TB’s support to be a mile wide, but only an inch deep. I bet a dynamic younger female candidate with plenty of energy could really test him.  I think voters are looking for something different. I bet Liz Matthis could make a good showing, as one example.  

    • I would be shocked

      if Tom Vilsack ran for governor again. If he’s really thinking about it, he should make that clear by July 4. Other people need time to organize their campaigns.

      • Vilsack

        I think Vilsack has made that clear several times.  Frankly, I think he would have had a better shot beating Braley in a primary (it would have forced the heavy hitters to stay relatively neutral) than beating Terry Branstad.  I don’t think it would have been easy to beat Braley, but that is all irrelevant speculation.  

        • Vilsack

          Apparently, he hasn’t made it clear enough, if Jack Hatch is still hedging based on what TV may or may not do. Vilsack needs to make a Shermanesque statement.  I think he would beat Branstad.

          • Good points

            I think it would be a whale of a contest, but you’re far more of an optimist than I am.  Hatch should get credit for stepping forward, I view his candidacy as kind of a Bob Dole, good team player kind of effort.

            I think Vilsack really enjoys being Ag Secretary as well.  I’m not sure who really advanced the idea.  We know a couple power brokers have been asking Vilsack, but I think it is more of a media creation from people who would like to see a Branstad/Vilsack showdown.  

            • I agree with you

              I’ve never seen any public signal from Vilsack that he has any interest in running for governor. I believe Vilsack could beat Branstad, but the speculation is wishful thinking more than anything else.

              The other side: Jerry Crawford said on WHO-TV’s program “The Insiders” a few months ago that he thought Vilsack hadn’t ruled out the governor’s race. He knows the Vilsacks very well. But he might have just been spinning.

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