BREAKING NEWS Biden, Dems prevail as Senate OKs $1.9T virus relief bill Full Story

Boulton's exit leaves Iowa governor candidates scrambling

Following the abrupt departure of one leading candidate, the five remaining Democrats running for governor are scrambling in the final days before Iowa's June 5 primary.

Posted: May 27, 2018 11:06 PM
Updated: May 28, 2018 6:27 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As the Democratic primary race for Iowa governor heads into its final week before the June 5 election, there's plenty of uncertainty and scrambling following state Sen. Nate Boulton's abrupt departure from the contest.

The eventual nominee will attempt to unseat Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is facing her first bid to be governor after serving the remaining term of former Gov. Terry Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China.

Here's a look at where the race stands:

___

BOULTON DEPARTURE

The race has been in a state of flux since The Des Moines Register reported last week that three women alleged Boulton, a Des Moines attorney, touched them inappropriately in incidents dating back more than a decade.

Within a day of the allegations being published, Boulton announced he'd suspended his campaign, creating an opportunity for the five remaining candidates to appeal to voters who had suddenly lost their first choice.

More than 13,500 Democrats had cast early votes by Wednesday, the day the Register report was published. That's the equivalent of about 18 percent of turnout in the 2014 and 2010 Democratic primaries. It's unclear how many of those early voters cast their ballots for Boulton, considered one of the leading candidates and whose name will remain on the ballot.

___

DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS

As Boulton supporters survey their remaining options, they'll have a range of candidates to choose among.

Perceived front-runner Fred Hubbell, a retired businessman who has highlighted his private sector work and philanthropic contributions, has argued he has the most resources to take on Reynolds. He's raised the most money — in part by donating millions of his personal wealth — and has used the financial advantage to flood television and radio airwaves for months.

A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted in mid-May showed three-fifths of Boulton's supporters had a favorable view of Hubbell and one-fifth said Hubbell is the most likely to defeat Reynolds.

Union leader Cathy Glasson is expected to appeal to labor supporters who lined up behind Boulton, as well as those who favor progressive priorities such enacting a $15 hourly minimum wage. Some activists expressed a belief that voters may be more interested in a female candidate after the allegations against Boulton, which could help the women in the race, Glasson and physician Andy McGuire.

Longtime party activist John Norris and former Iowa City mayor Ross Wilburn have also prioritized issues that could appeal to Boulton's supporters.

___

STATE CONVENTION

Unless a candidate wins 35 percent of the primary vote, state law requires that the nomination be determined by delegates at a state convention.

The convention process involves old school political strategy — similar to Iowa's precinct caucuses in the presidential primaries — where candidates try to position their supporters as delegates and lobby others to change their allegiances.

Such backroom deals among highly engaged party activists could lessen the advantage Hubbell has gained from his television and radio ads and result in a candidate gaining the nomination who received fewer votes in the primary. The Register/Mediacom poll showed Hubbell with 31 percent of the vote, followed by Boulton with 20 percent.

Boulton's exit could give Hubbell the extra votes he needs to exceed the 35 percent threshold, but if it goes to a convention there are recent examples of the top vote-getter not winning the nomination.

That's what happened in 2014, when the Republican 3rd District Congressional nomination went to a convention and delegates chose David Young, who had finished fifth in a six-way primary. Young went on to win the general election.

GOP Rep. Steve King followed a similar path to Congress in a four-way race in 2002, though he also placed first in the primary.

Other races this cycle — including a five-way Republican primary for secretary of agriculture and closely watched Democratic congressional contests — also could go to a convention.

___

WHAT'S NEXT?

Expect a last-minute scramble among the remaining campaigns for Boulton's supporters. Even those who have already voted can volunteer and make donations. That outreach could involve one-on-one pitches, phone calls and other communication.

Some of Boulton's labor support came from key groups like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 and the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. They have not indicated publicly if they will endorse another candidate before the primary.

Candidates will participate in a final televised debate on Wednesday, giving would-be voters a new look at the redrawn race.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 488170

Reported Deaths: 6602
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1012851589
Ramsey43273808
Dakota36543394
Anoka33430390
Washington22183261
Stearns18786202
St. Louis14866265
Scott13381107
Wright12580116
Olmsted1184890
Sherburne877174
Carver783241
Clay694587
Rice672291
Blue Earth599635
Kandiyohi580674
Crow Wing522782
Chisago501045
Otter Tail485570
Benton449290
Winona420049
Mower410031
Douglas393768
Goodhue388069
Nobles387147
Polk344663
McLeod340550
Beltrami338751
Morrison326247
Itasca314246
Becker313942
Lyon313844
Isanti308256
Steele303011
Carlton300249
Freeborn285824
Pine282616
Nicollet261541
Todd249230
Brown247237
Le Sueur237420
Mille Lacs229047
Cass221024
Waseca210117
Meeker208134
Martin190629
Wabasha18713
Roseau180917
Hubbard160741
Houston158114
Dodge15384
Renville151640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13908
Pennington137716
Chippewa136835
Cottonwood135920
Wadena131320
Faribault124517
Aitkin119233
Watonwan11798
Sibley117610
Rock116114
Kanabec108119
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9538
Jackson94210
Swift87818
Pope8095
Marshall78415
Stevens7468
Lake74218
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68616
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5122
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson40921
Red Lake3615
Traverse3105
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 336947

Reported Deaths: 5491
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51993559
Linn19497317
Scott17149212
Black Hawk14956293
Woodbury13828214
Johnson1314875
Dubuque12444195
Dallas1021893
Pottawattamie9877146
Story963545
Warren514076
Clinton502184
Cerro Gordo500683
Webster495588
Sioux479869
Marshall464273
Des Moines427961
Muscatine425693
Buena Vista412637
Wapello4042110
Jasper387267
Plymouth368578
Lee354453
Marion341171
Jones285055
Henry279837
Bremer270255
Carroll266649
Crawford253535
Boone244030
Benton240854
Washington239247
Mahaska215746
Jackson209939
Dickinson204140
Tama202865
Kossuth198655
Delaware186140
Clay184425
Winneshiek183228
Fayette179235
Page177919
Buchanan177829
Wright174231
Hamilton173842
Cedar172723
Hardin169839
Harrison167670
Clayton160154
Butler159231
Mills148420
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145541
Allamakee144148
Madison143018
Iowa140323
Hancock138030
Grundy132230
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129411
Cass129251
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123347
Louisa122444
Mitchell120540
Chickasaw119915
Union119131
Sac118718
Shelby117433
Emmet115440
Humboldt113725
Guthrie109628
Franklin109219
Palo Alto101321
Howard99522
Montgomery96936
Clarke95020
Keokuk92529
Monroe89828
Adair81529
Ida81532
Pocahontas80919
Davis76523
Monona76427
Greene73110
Lucas72121
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Unassigned6590
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4769
Wayne47121
Adams3184
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 30°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Albert Lea
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 30°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 26°
Winds will pick up for Sunday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events