Democratic candidates of Iowa’s race for governor honing messages

Gubernatorial hopefuls seek to distinguish themselves

The field appears to have settled on seven Democrats seeking to become the party’s nominee for governor in 2018.

And those seven Democratic candidates are honing their messages to voters nearly 10 months out from the primary.

Each appeared in Des Moines last week at a meeting of one of the state’s largest union groups, the Independent Federation of Labor. The candidates were asked topical questions, but also had the opportunity to give opening and closing comments. It was during those three-minute windows that candidates were free to make their pitches to a group of voters who are likely to be motivated and mobilized in 2018.

Obviously, issues central to organized labor were prominent in the discussion. It should surprise no one that Iowa’s new collective bargaining law — passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Terry Branstad — was addressed (and opposed) by all seven Democratic hopefuls.

But the candidates also used their time to make their cases more generally.

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