Senator Hatch “contemplating run for governor”

A Democrat in the Iowa Senate has filed the paperwork to form an exploratory committee for a campaign for governor.

Jack Hatch of Des Moines served 12 years in the Iowa House and is currently in his 11th year in the Iowa Senate.

“I’m raising money quietly, but not too quietly now and if you get more than $750 you have to file a change in organization,” Hatch says. “Well, I did that about three and a half weeks ago and so I legally changed the organization to reflect that I’m contemplating running for governor.”

Hatch says he’ll hold off on making a “formal announcement” until after the legislative session is over.

“We don’t need a diversion from the very end of session where we have to focus on what we do and how we do it,” Hatch says.

Yet Governor Terry Branstad sent an urgent fundraising appeal on Friday night, mentioning the first Democratic challenger for governor had stepped forward.  Branstad is expected to seek a sixth, four-year term as governor in 2014.

Earlier this year, Branstad accused Hatch to preparing to base a run for governor on the backs of poor Iowans. Hatch has been involved in developing a plan to provide health care coverage to Iowans who live below the poverty line, have a job, but don’t have health insurance. Hatch is pushing for an agreement on that issue this week rather than waiting ’til this summer.

“To think that we can come back in a special session and have an agreement is pretty unrealistic and pretty naive,” Hatch says.

Hatch and his wife are property developers and own a property management firm as well. Hatch is not the only Democrat contemplating a run for governor, but he is the only Iowa Democrat to have raised more than $750 and filed the paperwork to form an exploratory committee.