OSAGE | A candidate for governor who considers himself a lifelong progressive Democrat discussed his vision for Iowa during a visit to Osage Tuesday. 

“The cuts at the state level have been in every corner of the state,” Hubbell said during a meeting with Mitchell County citizens at Teluwut in Osage. “There is so much fear and anxiety in our state about where we are going financially, along with programs and policies. That’s why I decided to run for governor.”

Hubbell, a retired businessman from Des Moines, served as interim director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, where he said he ended misuse of film tax credits that was costing Iowans millions of dollars. 

One of his focuses during his campaign is unity. 

“What we need is someone willing to represent all Iowans across the aisle on health care and education, which are my main focus," Hubbell said. “The more support, training and education given to Iowans, the greater the benefit across the state."

He said he wants to direct the state's budget towards education, health care, pre-K-12, affordable tuition at four-year colleges and job training. 

Hubbell's second focus is health care and ending Medicaid privatization that occurred under former Gov. Terry Branstad, privatization he said that should have never occurred. 

Penney Morse, Osage, asked Hubbell his opinion on the master matrix, a scoring approval system for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and what could be done to protect Iowa’s natural resources.

One aspect rarely mentioned during CAFO discussion — low unemployment across the state — was the Branstad administration's support for the industry that has allowed the industry to bring in low-paying jobs, Hubbell said, due in part to the tax breaks and incentives they receive. 

Hubbell said he thinks the state has a water quality problem, "affecting the waters we fish in and our drinking water."

“It is clear that there are loopholes in matrix process and there is not enough control or oversight on the local level," he said. 

Chrystal Berche is a correspondent for the Mitchell County Press-News, another Lee Enterprises newspaper. 

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