DES MOINES, Iowa -- As Democrats headed into the 2018 state convention, many said they are fired up and very excited about the race ahead.
“I think the Democrats are wound up this year. They know we’ve got to take back the statehouse,” Democrat Larry Hodgden said.
Fred Hubbell beat out his four Democratic opponents last week, and his supporters are confident he will beat the incumbent, Governor Kim Reynolds.
“I think here in Iowa we’ve witnessed an extreme radical agenda by the Republicans, and we have a clear shot to be able to turn the tide, to be able to stop some of the horrible legislation that’s been going on,” Democrat Kimberley Boggus said.
Hubbell started his speech by saying he thinks Governor Reynolds has taken the state backwards.
“Fiscal mismanagement, misguided priorities, and an extreme agenda. She’s dismantling everything that make 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,” Hubbell said.
Hubbell also announced his running mate, Iowa State Senator Rita Hart, who has represented Clinton and Scott Counties.
“She’s from a rural county, and that’s going to be a good balance for Fred, and we know he’s already been to 99 counties. I think he will speak for all Iowans. I know Rita is a hard worker and she will represent Iowa very well as lieutenant governor,” Hodgden said.
As a former teacher, Hart said she will focus on education.
“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 are going to fight to fully fund our schools,” she said.
First-time delegate Jared Gerlock said that is why he supports Hart and Hubbell.
“Education is really important to me. I think we need to do everything we can to enhance the educational system in Iowa and really do what we can to help our kids,” Gerlock said.
Hubbell said together they are fighting for all Iowans.
"We are 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."