New candidate vows to fight for “Forgotten Iowa”


Chris Anderson

Adding to quickly growing field of democratic challengers to Iowa’s governorship, State Rep. Todd Prichard announced his candidacy as the next democratic nominee.

Prichard is a lifelong Iowan from Davenport. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Prichard enlisted in the Army Reserve and served four tours overseas, according to his campaign announcement.

After returning to Iowa, Prichard worked as a prosecutor, defender and litigator where he says he fought for Iowans and Iowa families.

Prichard was elected to the Iowa House in the 2012 election to represent district 52, which consists of Charles City and surrounding areas.

Tuesday morning in his hometown of Charles City, Prichard officially launched his candidacy for governor and launching his Every Iowan Tour. As governor Pichard vows to fight for Iowans left behind.

To a crowd of supporters, Prichard stated the reason why he was running for governor. He expressed concern about how he’s seen the Branstad-Reynolds administration take care of big corporations and the wealthy, leaving working Iowan’s behind.

“I’m worried about the path we’re on; and I believe we’ve got to fight to change course,” Prichard said.

He called out to working Iowans in small communities which he believes has become “The Forgotten Iowa.”

“The people far outside the spotlight of Des Moines who may be 20 or 200 miles away, but when taken together, are too often a world apart. It is time we have a governor that will fight for them and raise wages across all Iowa communities,” Prichard said.

Prichard also talked of specific policy during his announcement speech. Prichard promised to start a scholarship program which would guarantee free community college to any Iowan.

The proposed program is explained in greater detail on Prichard’s website. Any Iowan whether right out of high school or an adult would be eligible to earn free tuition, priority would be given to fields in higher demand however.

Among other stipulations, recipients would be required to volunteer in their community, students would need to pursue other aid opportunities, and graduates must work in the state for three years following graduation or risk repayment of the scholarship.

Prichard claims the program would cost $8 million annually, or the same cost that the Branstad-Reynolds administration paid to add just 10 jobs in Polk County.

Following the curtailing of public employee collective bargaining rights by the Republican led legislature, Prichard also promises to sign an executive order on day one that would fully restore the rights of these public worker unions.

Another major part of Prichard’s campaign is to raise wages and increase economic growth across Iowa. He claims on his website that the average wage in the top 10 counties is $7,500 more than the other 89 counties.

As governor Prichard would like to help reduce this divide by his community college program, investing in broadband infrastructure, and reforming Iowa’s tax credit system.

Other issues listed on Prichard’s website include ensuring clean water, expansions in clean energy, protecting women’s healthcare rights, and investing in K-12 education.

Prichard joins a growing field of Democratic candidates including State Sen. Nate Boulton, Former IDP Chairwoman Andy McGuire, Director of Polk County Conservation Rich Leopold, and attorney Jon Neiderbach. Iowa businessman Fred Hubbell has also considered running for the Democratic ticket.

There are currently no Republican challengers but soon to be Governor Kim Reynolds is expected to run for reelection.