Iowa Governor's Race Clearer with Hatch's Entry

The 2014 race for Iowa’s next governor is shifting into focus, and three state leaders have staked out clear contrasts for the primary and general election contests to come.
September 17, 2013

The 2014 race for Iowa’s next governor is shifting into focus, and three state leaders have staked out clear contrasts for the primary and general election contests to come.

Two are Democratic challengers: state Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines and Rep. Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids. Olson jumped into the race in July; Hatch made his candidacy official in a news conference Monday. The third is the Republican incumbent, the five-termer whose career stretches through five decades, the 800-pound gorilla of Iowa politics, Terry Branstad.

Each brings a different style and emphasis to the race, setting up a June Democratic primary and a November general election in which voters can choose between clear differences.

The governor enters the race in a dominant position, given his long political history and the state’s economic health, said University of Northern Iowa political scientist Christopher Larimer. That helps explain why Hatch and Olson have drawn the contrasts they have as early as they have.

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