Jack Hatch visits Ames, talks job creation


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Sen. Jack Hatch, the Democratic nominee for the Iowa gubernatorial race, and Monica Vernon, his running mate, met with potential voters at Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames on July 3.

Greg Zwiers

Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Jack Hatch made a campaign stop at Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames to meet with friends and supporters as well as to introduce his running mate, Monica Vernon.

Vernon said she met Hatch when she was on the Cedar Rapids City Council during the 2008 flood. Hatch’s development company built affordable housing for those who were displaced by the flood.

Hatch said that other states are recovering from the 2008 recession faster than Iowa, citing that Iowa had the fifth lowest unemployment before the recession and has now fallen to seventh. She also said that Iowa ranks 35th in job creation for 2014.

“We want to put more of our investment money into small communities and into neighborhoods,” Hatch said.

Herman Quirmbach, state senator and associate professor of economics at Iowa State, said he is thrilled that Hatch is running for governor and was looking forward to being introduced to Vernon and hearing from her.

Hatch said he believes that Gov. Terry Branstad’s approach to job creation by spending money on getting large corporations such as Facebook to bring offices to Iowa is expensive and isn’t bringing the growth that Iowa needs.

“We want to show a contrast with that, and our contrast is we’re building from the community up,” Hatch said. He said that Ames is an example of a place where a strong downtown community has brought small businesses into the city.

Hatch said Branstad’s method of spending money in an attempt to convince large companies to create jobs in Iowa has cost the state $700,000 per job it has created. Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hatch said that Branstad has only created 72,000 of the 200,000 jobs he promised by 2015.

Hatch said that Vernon’s experience as a city councilwoman gives her a great understanding of how cities and counties can work from within to create economic development.

Quirmbach said he thinks Ames will be very supportive of Hatch and Vernon’s campaign and their goals.

Both have experience with owning their own companies. Vernon recently sold Vernon Research Group, and she said from her experience working with him in business that Hatch knows how to work hard and solve problems.

Hatch said he wants to be a facilitator of what the people he hopes to represent want. He said as governor, he will want his constituents to tell him what to do and that people from within the community usually come up with the best ideas.

“I want to be behind the people with the ideas,” Hatch said.

Vernon said that if Hatch wins, she will be his eyes and ears and will travel around the state listening to people’s concerns. She said there are talented people all around Iowa and many opportunities for the state.

“There are fantastic neighborhoods and communities that I think the opportunity to, at the highest level of our government, partner with them,” Vernon said. “That’s how we’re going to lift up this state.”