DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Democrats now officially have five, a sixth is "exploring" it, and at least two others are seriously considering it. The race for governor is a crowded one.
Tuesday afternoon, State Representative Todd Prichard, a Charles City attorney, announced his candidacy in a news conference at the Iowa Statehouse. It was Prichard's third stop of the day.
"We're in a situation where Iowa is under attack," Prichard, a three-term representative, told a few dozen family members and supporters gathered around him.
Prichard ripped Republican-led priorities that have made their way through the recently-concluded legislative session. "For years, the governor and lieutenant governor have left people behind," he said.
Republicans limited local governments' abilities to raise the minimum wage in their communities, significantly reduced collective bargaining rights of union members, and limited financial compensation for workers injured on the job.
Prichard said it's a case of misplaced priorities. He called for tuition-free community college, which he estimates will cost the state $8 million a year.
He acknowledged the crowded Democratic field and said the winning candidate will have to find the right connection with voters. "We talk about everyday Iowans and forgotten Iowans," Prichard said. "There's real struggles in Iowa. And I think they have been largely ignored by the Republicans and by politics, in general, over the last few years. We've got people who are really living paycheck to paycheck. What I call 'bladerunners.' And they're really on the edge of losing their house, of losing their security in the middle class."
Prichard joins Des Moines State Senator Nate Boulton, Polk County Board of Conservation Chair Rich Leopold, former Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire, and former State Auditor candidate Jon Neiderbach as the announced candidates for the Democratic Primary.
Insurance executive Fred Hubbell is exploring a candidacy. Former Governor Tom Vilsack's Chief of Staff John Norris is also considering a run, as is Davenport City Councilman Mike Matson.