Thoughts on the Governor’s race from Kevin McCarthy, former state rep., Iowa house majority and minority leader, political director at Hubbell for Governor. Posted with permission.
It was a Record setting night in Polk County (thanks to
many, many good people…the Campaign for Iowa…and Sean Bagniewski and Kimberley Boggus and CeCe Ibson, etc, etc).
It was a Historic night in Johnson County…unbelievable margin of victory! Iowa City blew everyone away! Epic! Thank you Mary Mascher and Sue Dvorsky and Joe Bolkcom and everyone there!
Early vote statewide…RECORD setting again for an off year election. A ton of hard-work and we blew past all goals. Thank you CFI and all the county parties!
Then…on to Iowa’s four congressional districts…Fred wins the First and the Second and yes the Third (out-performs)…
…and onto the Fourth…with huge turnout and massive energy on both sides of that hard-fought congressional contest…Reynolds wins in King’s district by a 22 point margin…negating everything else and after the provisionals are counted and the elections are certified… will make for about a two point win overall for the incumbent Governor Reynolds.
In 26 years of being involved in Iowa campaigns, including statewide and presidentials…I have seen wins from those who don’t have it all together so to speak…and losses from those that are well run.
All I can say, from my little corner of the world…is that I have never seen a more well-oiled machine as the Hubbell campaign. It was the best overall campaign, on every level, that I have ever seen. Our 98 county primary win in a crowded field was not just about messaging…it was about organization. In the general…our organization was superior by far. Not even close. Our press events dominated (hundreds of built events highlighting the disaster of Medicaid Privatization, etc.). Newspaper endorsements (which require interviews where one is questioned like Branstad used to do)…we dominated. Our Build at events like mental health forums and debate visibility dominated. Sometimes they would just leave, with reckless disregard, in the front of an important event, an entire row of their reserved seats for them…empty. They skipped important Ed Board interviews. No need for prep when you skip the interview process altogether. Etc.
Now to the candidate. Fred Hubbell is a decent man. A good person with a good heart. A great intellect with a amazingly humble disposition. In almost a year and a half of working on this campaign I have never seen him lose his cool or raise his voice nor make any decision that was not pragmatic and based upon a sense of what was the right and honorable thing to do. He respects people and his fellow human beings. I am telling you…he is a class act.
And…with all of that…WE did not prevail.
The status quo in Iowa will continue…and Medicaid Privatization will continue…and those that are disproportionately negatively effected by these policies, in part… provided the needed votes to allow it to continue. That is unfortunate.
There is a division in Iowa now that transcends issues at the moment in some pockets of our state …and…even our current ability to understand exactly how to navigate that.
It is what it is. I am proud of this campaign and everyone in it from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Two things can be true at the same time I think. This was a historic, amazing campaign effort, that broke records…that was focused on the issues…and had a great candidate with a great message of change.
And we lost.
Thank you to all that poured their hearts and souls into making Iowa a better place. From the very real issues of Medicaid Privatization, our broken Mental Health system and our educational system…we fought the good fight for the right reasons.
Now we turn the page…