Fred Hubbell

A sixth Democrat has officially entered the race for governor. Fred Hubbell, a retired businessman from Des Moines, has been attending candidate forums, but Hubbell released a video message this afternoon to formally kick off his campaign.

“I’ve never been a politician. I’ve never run for political office,” Hubbell said in the video. “The only interests that are special to me are the people of Iowa.”

Hubbell’s family has deep roots in Des Moines that date back to the mid-1800s. His great-great-grandfather was a prominent developer of the capital city, founding an insurance company and investing in railroads as well as real estate. Hubbell, the new candidate in the governor’s race, was once chairman Younker’s department stores and he served as president of Equitable, the family’s life insurance company.

Hubbell, who is 66, describes himself as a “lifelong Democrat.” And he accuses Republicans of “fiscal failure” for giving tax breaks to corporations rather than investing in schools and fixing the state’s health care system.

“We should help small and medium-sized businesses grow and drive incomes up,” Hubbell said. “Across the state, I see the anxiety, the frustration; people working two jobs and barely getting by.”

Hubbell’s relatives were the long-time owners of Terrace Hill, which currently serves as the official residence for Iowa governors. In 1971, the Hubbell family gave the Victorian-era mansion to the state. After renovations, the past five Iowa governors have lived in the mansion’s top floor.