A retired Presbyterian minister from Council Bluffs will formally kick-off his campaign to unseat Republican Congressman Steve King this week.
Reverend Rob Hubler has been meeting with Democrats in the fifth district for the past few months and describes himself as a full-time candidate. Hubler will start his first tour as an "official" candidate on Tuesday, with stops in Council Bluffs, Sioux City and Des Moines. By the end of the month, Hubler will have also visited Red Oak, Atlantic, Storm Lake and Rock Rapids.
Hubler, who is 63 years old, says Congressman King only offers "extreme answers" to the pressing issues of the day. "And so I decided to take a look and I’ve been doing it since December and have come to the conclusion that I would like to be the congressman from the fifth district," Hubler says.
Election Day 2008 is about 19 months away, but Hubler says now is the time for him to launch his campaign. "I am a candidate that will need to raise an awful lot of money — probably a budget of no less than $500,000," Hubler says. "…I’ll have to get out early and do that organizing and fundraising."
Hubler is a Council Bluffs native who enlisted in the Navy after high school. After seven years of service — part of it spent in Vietnam — Hubler returned to Iowa and got a degree from what was then known as Parson’s College in Fairfield. Hubler worked behind the scenes for Democratic politicians like Tom Harkin and Dick Clark, then went to the seminary in 1989. Hubler served Presbyterian churches in State Center, Albion, Maxwell and Council Bluffs.
"For the last few years I’ve been a full-time caregiver for my father and my aunt and then they both passed away," Hubler says. "I moved back to Council Bluffs, my home, and here I am — running for congress."
Despite his retirement and his campaigning, Hubler says he’s behind the pulpit nearly every Sunday, preaching at an assisted care center in Council Bluffs or churches in the area where the minister is on vacation. Hubler’s father and two uncles were Presbyterian ministers, too.