“Whether it’s her own story or distorting facts about my story, one thing is clear: Governor Reynolds is running a campaign about yesterday,” Fred Hubbell told Iowa Democratic Party state convention delegates on June 16. “We’re running a campaign about tomorrow. We are running to get Iowa growing the right way.”
• Preview the main themes of his general election campaign;
• Reassure Democratic activists (many of whom had been strongly committed to other candidates) that he shares their values and goals;
• Address and reframe early attacks from Governor Kim Reynolds; and
• Introduce his running mate State Senator Rita Hart, who’s not well-known outside Clinton and Scott counties.
For those who weren’t able to attend the convention, I enclose below audio and full transcripts of the speeches by Hubbell and Hart.
Audio of Hubbell’s remarks:
Well thank you, thank you. It’s good to see so many new faces and so many familiar faces, and especially my wife Charlotte, who’s been my partner in this journey for 41 years. [applause]
You know, it’s too bad that Governor Reynolds couldn’t be here to see just what she’s going to be up against all the way until November. [applause]
Did anybody here see Governor Reynolds’ speech on election night? She stood up moments after the polls were closed and proceeded to launch one personal attack after another. But don’t worry: we’re not afraid. We are ready. [applause]
She’s only going low because she cannot defend her record. [applause]
Fiscal mismanagement, misguided priorities, and an extreme agenda. She’s dismantling everything that make[s] our state a great place. And then earlier this week, she said I’m running to undo everything she’s doing. And she’s right! [applause]
She’s slashed funding for education all across the board. She’s rolled back access to health care, defunded Planned Parenthood, stripped collective bargaining rights, but she keeps somehow finding the money to fully fund the wasteful corporate giveaways. Does anybody here want to help me undo this mess? [applause]
But you know, elections are about choices. And I’m not just running against Governor Reynolds and her failed record. You know, as bad as her administration has been up to this point, I’m always going to tell people not just what I’m against, but also what I’m for. And we’re going spend this campaign talking about our vision to help all Iowans. [applause]
The farmer, and there’s quite a few of them these days, who fears a needless trade war is going to cost him his farm. A student burdened by the crushing loans that she’ll never be able to pay. And the grandparents who are praying that their children will come back to Iowa and raise the next generation of Iowa families. I’m running on a vision to get Iowa growing the right way and a record of bringing people together to get things done. [applause]
We’ve got to turn this state around, and we don’t have any time to waste. We need to provide everyone the training and education they need to get the good jobs we’re going to create. We need to ensure every Iowans has access to quality, affordable health care, and especially good mental health care. [applause]
We need to build and enhance Iowa’s infrastructure, our high-speed internet, and our housing all across this state. We need to preserve our topsoil while we work to protect our air and water quality, [applause]
and we need to respect our workers and our working families, from raising the minimum wage to restoring collective bargaining rights and our workers’ compensation system. [applause]
But first, I want to give credit to my opponents in the primary. Each of them ran issue-driven campaigns, and many of them are here today. Because we need every single person in this room to be united together by our shared, core values. [applause] United together from now through November and beyond. [applause]
Primary campaigns put our message to a test. Believe me, I know that. But Governor Reynolds–she pushed her opponent, Mayor Ron Corbett, off of the ballot. Instead of putting her message and ideas out there for the voters to choose, she chose an easy way out. I’ve got news for you, Governor: it isn’t going to be that easy this November. [applause]
We are stronger because of our primary campaign. So I want to say thank you to Cathy [Glasson], for making sure we’re talking about giving Iowans a raise.
Thank you to Andy [McGuire] for your fight to get quality, affordable health care for everybody in our state.
And thank you to John [Norris], for making sure that we focus on rural issues and the challenges facing our farmers today. [applause] We’re going to be talking about these tariffs, folks, because they’re going to cause a lot of harm all across our state: agriculture workers, farm families, and a lot of people in Iowa. We need to stand up against this kind of activity. [applause]
And thank you to Ross Wilburn, for standing up for the Iowa you believe in, that’s inclusive and affords everybody the opportunity to succeed. [applause]
And I want to thank all the candidates for talking about standing up for organized labor. Do we have any friends here from organized labor? [applause]
We stand united to turn this state around. And we must unite urban and rural Iowa, and I’ve got a couple of ideas [about] how to do that. We are all Iowans, and we stand united by a simple vision: if we invest in the future, we are all going to benefit, our children will benefit, and our grandchildren will benefit. And I know you have given me the greatest responsibility of my life, and I’m not going to let you down. [applause]
But I’m not going to do it alone. So I am proud to announce my official running mate, Senator Rita Hart, our next lieutenant governor of Iowa! [applause]
I’m glad you all agree. We considered a lot of talented Iowans, but Senator Hart always stood out, and I couldn’t be more excited to have her as my running mate. [applause]
Her story as a teacher for over 20 years, a farmer, a mother of five, grandmother, two-term state senator, is a strong testament to her strong character. A caring, steadfast Iowan through and through, Senator Hart has dedicated her life to serving and fighting for her community. We’re running in this race because we both love this state, and we want to leave it to all of our children and grandchildren better than we found it. And Senator Hart just had a new grandchild, so I know how committed she is to that vision. [applause]
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to work together, not just to make change at the top of this state, but all across the board, up and down the ticket. I’m honored to be running on the same ticket as Attorney General Tom Miller, State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, Representative Dave Loebsack, all terrific Democratic leaders who continue to fight for our state. But I’m also very excited to make history this year with candidates like [secretary of state nominee] Deidre DeJear and [state auditor nominee] Rob Sand. [applause]
Candidates like [first Congressional district nominee] Abby Finkenauer, [third district nominee] Cindy Axne, and [fourth district nominee] J.D. Scholten. [applause] And all of our strong candidates for the House and the Senate here in our state.
You know, many of you have heard the personal attacks coming from Governor Reynolds and her campaign. Whether it’s her own story or distorting facts about my story, one thing is clear: Governor Reynolds is running a campaign about yesterday. We’re running a campaign about tomorrow. [applause]
We are running to get Iowa growing the right way. [applause]
So it’s time to roll up your sleeves, knock on some doors, make those extra phone calls, so we can elect more Democrats to flip the House, elect more Democrats to flip the Senate, and reverse the extreme Republican agenda, and move our state forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause, many waving Hubbell signs] I like all those signs you have out there.
Hubbell paused while the following video about Rita Hart played on a large screen.
Hubbell wrapped up: “And now, I would like to introduce our next lieutenant governor, Rita Hart!” Here’s the full audio clip from her speech:
Thank you, thank you, thanks everyone. What a great welcoming. So appreciate every face that I am looking at right now. I am honored and humbled to be on this stage, and incredibly proud to stand with Fred Hubbell to turn this state around. [applause]
I want to tell you, it has been one crazy week. I mean, it has been crazy. And the first thing I want to do is thank my family. [Hart thanked her husband Paul, her daughters and sons-in-law and their children, her son, and some nieces and nephews]
So there’s a lot of family, and they’ve all been so supportive, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. And I also want to thank all of my constituents in Clinton and Scott County, who I have had the privilege of representing in the Iowa state Senate. And it’s been great to see some of them here today. In fact, would you guys stand, from Clinton and Scott County, wherever you are? There you go, there they are! [applause]
I want you guys to know that I have loved working for you and with you. And we have accomplished so much. And I want you to know that you are going on this journey with me, and I will never stop representing you. [applause]
And finally, I want to thank Fred, and I want to thank his wife Charlotte, for graciously welcoming my husband and me to this incredible team. As Fred said, together, united, we are ready to take the fight to Governor Reynolds and Republicans this November. [applause]
I can tell you that I did not expect to be here on this stage as the nominee for the lieutenant governor for this great state. But I accept this challenge, because what I have always been committed to is to try to make the world a better place, by doing as much as I can for as many as possible. For over 20 years I did that as a teacher. [applause] That’s right. And then I ran the school to work program, helping young people find their career pathway. And then I went on to run for the state Senate.
Don’t get me wrong: I did have an interest in politics from a very young age. I was lucky enough to be born into a divided household, where both caucuses–my mother, who was a Republican, and my father, who was a Democrat–would convene every night at the dinner table. [laughter] And it’s a large dinner table when you have eight brothers and sisters, all right? In fact, one of my brothers is here today: Frank Rottinghaus, from Floyd County, where are you? There he is, way back there. [applause] Thanks, Frank. Thanks for being a great big brother and thanks for representing Floyd County [as treasurer] so well.
So just like back in those days we fought over the mashed potatoes, we learned how to develop an opinion. We learned how to argue a position and have fun doing that. So here’s my opinion today: Governor Reynolds and the Republicans are leading our state in a disastrous direction. We need a proven leader like Fred to fix our budget disaster, and to restore investments in the right priorities. [applause] Yes.
As a longtime former teacher, I know and you know how important a quality education is for a young Iowan’s success. It’s vital for their future, and it’s vital for the great state of Iowa. We need to prepare our young people, and we need to grow our workforce to meet and attract the jobs of the future. And that’s why we’re going to fight to fully fund our schools. [applause]
To expand affordable higher education and to restore collective bargaining for our hard-working teachers. [applause]
I want to say thank you so much to the teachers of Iowa. I know there are a lot of teachers here, and a lot of former teachers in this crowd. Would you guys stand up, please? There they are! There they are. [applause] Stay standing, stay standing. We need to stand with them and for them. And now–that’s right– and now, would all the–anybody who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, would you stand with them? [applause] We need to stand for you and with you. Let’s make this happen. Thank you. These are the people who are standing in the trenches, doing a tough and important job. We need to stand up for them.
As a state senator, I’ve watched first hand as this administration and this Republican legislature have blatantly pushed their extreme agenda, intent on dividing us and taking our state backwards in the process. From the disastrous privatization of Medicaid to the defunding of Planned Parenthood to Governor Reynolds signing the most extreme anti-women’s health care bill in the country, Iowans today have less access to quality health care with worse outcomes because of their extreme action. That’s why we’re going to fight to restore the quality health care that Iowans deserve. [applause]
And finally, as a farmer and a small-town Iowan–my husband and I have farmed just outside of the little town of Big Rock for over 30 years, but Paul and his mother and father have farmed their century farm north of Wheatland all of their lives. We know that we could not do that without our neighbors. We’ve seen what happens when a community comes together to get things done. That’s how we’ve always done it on the farm. That’s also how Fred Hubbell does it. He knows how to bring people together. He’s done it his entire life, and he will do it again as governor. [applause] That’s right.
Because we need more dialogue, not less. And we need better results for Iowans. In this great state, with these great people, who understand the power of community, we need leadership that pulls those forces together. I think we are all tired of the never-ending division that is caused by closed-door session, closed-door decision-making, right?
But we need your help. Blue waves don’t make themselves, and blue ballots don’t check themselves. We need you. We need your support, we need your passion, and we need your involvement to take our state back. [applause]
Let’s do it! Thank you so much. Let’s get to work!