Democrats and Republicans gathered Saturday in Des Moines for state conventions that in many ways served as the starting bells for the General Election.
Republicans on the state fairgrounds were equipped with thunder sticks. Democrats in Hy-Vee Hall were ready for their pep rally, too. The two candidates for governor took the stages at their party conventions at the same time.
“It’s too bad that Governor Reynolds couldn’t be here to see what she’s going to be up against all the way until November,” Hubbell said, to cheers from his fellow Democrats.
AUDIO of Hubbell’s speech, 12:30
Across town, Reynolds rallied with her fellow Republicans.
“He believes in him and the government and we believe in you, the people,” Reynolds said.
AUDIO of Reynolds’ speech, 14:15
Reynolds repeated her rap on Hubbell’s wealth.
“If you think that the governor’s office is for sale to the highest bidder, then you don’t know Iowans,” Reynolds said, to cheers from her fellow Republicans.
Hubbell told Democrats he was ready to “fight back.”
“She’s only going low because she cannot defend her record,” Hubbell said, to applause.
Over at the GOP convention, Reynolds got some rhetorical back-up from Republican Senator Joni Ernst.
“Fancy Fred Hubbell…will be a governor for union bosses, for the far-left liberals and the far left environmental zealots,” Ernst said.
AUDIO of Ernst’s speech, 13:00
Hubbell’s newly nominated running mate Rita Hart spoke to Democratic delegates and offered the counter argument.
“Governor Reynolds and the Republicans are leading our state in a disastrous direction,” Hart said. “We need a proven leader like Fred to fix our budget disaster and to restore investments in the right priorities.”
AUDIO of Hart’s speech, 9:00
Hubbell sounded the same theme during his convention speech, accusing Reynolds of having “misguided priorities and an extreme agenda.”
“She dismantling everything that make our state a great place and then earlier this week she said I’m running to dismantle everything she’s doing — and she’s right,” Hubbell said to cheers from Democratic Party delegates.
Reynolds, meanwhile, drew cheers from GOP delegates as she listed bills signed into law over the past two years as Republicans controlled the statehouse agenda.
“We are delivering on what we promised Iowans we would do,” Reynolds said.
These are the likely campaign themes Iowans will hear repeated between now and the General Election. November 6th is 141 days away.