Des Moines Democrat Jack Hatch is set to enter the 2014 gubernatorial race. His comments to the Des Moines Register, along with social media posts Tuesday evening, indicate Hatch might officially announce his bid Wednesday morning.
Jack Hatch is a career politician. He served in the Iowa House from 1985-93, left to take a job working for Sen. Tom Harkin, returned to the House in 2000 and joined the Iowa Senate in 2002. He represents the solidly liberal Senate District 33.
As for his ability to govern, Hatch’s dealings with his fellow legislators and views on the country’s problems are…interesting. To say the least.
According to Iowa House Rep. Jake Highfill (R-Johnston), last month, while Hatch was having a discussion with Sen. Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) regarding Medicaid expansion, Whitver expressed concerns about adding to the enormous federal debt. Hatch’s response was very telling.
“I don’t give a f*** about the debt,” Hatch said, according to Rep. Highfill.
Jack Hatch will surely try to take credit for bringing Medicaid expansion to Iowa, but the deal that was struck in the Iowa Legislature is far from the government giveaway without accountability that Hatch was pushing for. He also played no role in the healthcare compromise that was reached between Republicans and Democrats.
Governor Branstad’s spokesman Tim Albrecht pulled no punches in response to Hatch’s pending candidacy.
“While Jack Hatch was busily parsing polls 17 months before the election, Terry Branstad was engineering the most successful legislative session he’s had as governor,” Albrecht said. “Governor Branstad is set to sign the largest tax cut in Iowa history, has put an end to the debt and spend policies that Jack Hatch bear-hugged for years, and has spurred the most economic development investments Iowa has ever seen.”
It is difficult to see how Jack Hatch envisions a path to victory against Branstad, assuming the governor runs for another term. Hatch’s tweets indicate a plan to campaign on jobs and the economy. Good luck with that one. Considering Iowa has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates and the state’s fiscal health is very strong, it’s difficult to see what argument the liberal Hatch can make that will convince voters he’s more qualified than Terry Branstad.
“We are confident that a politician like Jack Hatch has a lot of friends in the smoke-filled backrooms in Des Moines, but Terry Branstad takes his cues from the real people of Iowa. Should Jack Hatch choose to run for governor, the people of Iowa will have a clear choice between a thoughtful, job-creating leader like Terry Branstad, versus a Des Moines insider politician like Jack Hatch. We welcome the contrast,” Albrecht said.
Senator Hatch would be up for reelection next year, so if he follows through on a gubernatorial bid, Senate District 33 will be an open seat in November 2014.
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