DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s the wealthy business leader versus the former waitress. That is the match-up of the two major party nominees in Iowa’s race for governor in the November election.
Fred Hubbell was born into a wealthy Iowa family and remains rich. Iowa Republicans seem determined to use that financial security against him after he used part of his personal fortune to help him win his Democratic bid for governor.
Hubbell is the former chairman of Younkers, the department store chain founded in Iowa, that is now closing its doors. He also served as the president of Equitable of Iowa, the insurance company his family founded. The Hubbell name goes back generations in Iowa. His family also donated the mansion where Iowa governors and their families live while in office.
Hubbell also donated nearly $3 million to his campaign for governor as he easily won his party's nomination on Tuesday with nearly 56% of the vote in a five-person contest.
The Republican Party of Iowa Chairman, Jeff Kaufmann, has mocked Hubbell's wealth with nicknames, pushing the argument that Hubbell doesn't understand the needs of Iowans because he was born into privilege.
Governor Kim Reynolds also questioned how Hubbell could relate to Iowans who struggle to pay their bills.
Reynolds is pushing her modest upbringing in her early campaign ads.
Hubbell contends that talking with people allows him to better understand those who have struggled with money. He has also run campaign ads making the case that he and his wife have donated money to causes that help people.
Hubbell has also tried to use the money conversation against Reynolds, challenging the governor on her fiscal management of the state.
Channel 13 Insiders contributors Jerry Crawford, a longtime Democratic political strategist and adviser, and Mike Mahaffey, a former Republican Party of Iowa State Chairman and 1998 nominee for Congress, looked ahead to how Hubbell's personal wealth will be a part of the 2018 race for governor.