Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch has formally launched his campaign for governor. The Des Moines lawmaker made the announcement Monday.
The announcement brought the exploratory phase of his campaign to an end. He's now looking for the June 2014 Democratic nomination to face Governor Terry Branstad in next fall’s general election.
Hatch unveiled his plans at a news conference choreographed at an abandoned factory near downtown Des Moines - the site of one of Iowa’s worst environmental disasters. In the early 1980s, the DICO Corporation site was one of the original EPA Superfund sites. Clean-up of that site was one of Hatch's first battles as an Iowa legislator.
“I stood up to those in power, including Governor Terry Branstad," he said. "I took on the large corporation that denied responsibility. I kept up the fight, and Iowans won."
In remarks to gathered supporters, Hatch said he’s motivated to run by a long-held belief in accountability for those in power.
Hatch also highlighted fights on issues ranging from health care to education to small business tax rates.
He said “the most important quality any candidate should bring to the race for Governor against Terry Branstad is a record of fighting and winning for hardworking middle-class Iowans.”
The Monday announcement tour included stops in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Mason City, Sioux City and Council Bluffs.
Hatch, 63, is a Des Moines builder who has served more than 22 years in the Iowa legislature.