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Democrat candidate for Governor, Jack Hatch calls for raising fuel tax to fix infrastructure

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Jack Hatch both compared himself to a Virginia tea partier and called himself a “Democrat liberal” as he made a case for his Iowa gubernatorial bid Thursday.

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JOHNSTON, Iowa — Jack Hatch both compared himself to a Virginia tea partier and called himself a “Democrat liberal” as he made a case for his Iowa gubernatorial bid Thursday.Hatch, a real estate developer and state senator from Des Moines, called for raising the state's fuel tax, said the criteria for who gets a casino needs to be rejiggered and promised half his agency appointments would be women during a taping of Iowa Public Television’s "Iowa Press" program Thursday.Hatch took aim Republican GovTerry Branstad over the fuel tax, which has not been raised since 1989 even as the state deals with an annual $250 million backlog in critical road repairs, saying the governor has let down his rural Iowa constituents.“(Branstad is) a person who supposedly represents rural IowaThis is one good example of people not representing rural Iowa who say they do,” Hatch said“I’m an urban IowanI’m a Democrat liberalI would increase the gas tax over five years, two cents a year.”Branstad, who is seeking an unprecedented sixth term, has amassed a campaign fund of $4.69 million on hand at the last reporting periodHatch, meanwhile, had yet to break a $1 million and had $241,000 on hand.“If this campaign is going to be about who’s going to raise the most money, then I’m not your candidate,” Hatch said“But we just heard, we just saw this week, Eric Cantor lostHe had a lot more money than his opponent.”Cantor, the majority leader in the U.SHouse of Representatives, lost a primary challenge in his Virginia district Tuesday to tea party candidate Dave Brat, despite having spent $4.8 million to Brat’s $200,000.Hatch said he currently is considering potential running mates and likely will make an announcement next week.“The criteria is we want somebody who will be able to be governor if anything should happen to me,” he said“Also a person who could be a partner with me that could act independently of me, that could go on appearances on their own and can really sell and reach out to the people of the state.”He said it would likely be someone from eastern Iowa but didn’t say gender was a qualifierHe did, however, reiterate that if elected, he would appoint women to half the directorships in state agencies.The Democrat consistently referred to the Branstad administration as “scandal-ridden.” He also criticized the governor’s economic development work, saying Branstad gave too much to Egyptian-owned Orascom Construction to build a $1.2 billion Iowa Fertilizer plant in Lee CountyThe plant will employ 165 people and was enticed to Iowa, in part, because of $107 million in state incentives.“We have to make sure that we have a finite amount of money, credits, to provide as incentives,” Hatch said“And I don't disagree with those tax credits as incentivesBut to put so much into one company that is providing so little return to the state of Iowa was a terrible deal.”Tommy Schultz, spokesman for the Branstad campaign, called Hatch “juvenile” for his allegations of scandal."More typical drivel from a struggling, broke campaignJack Hatch knows his stale, liberal ideas won't sell to Iowa voters, so he is resorting to nasty, D.C.-style attacks,” he wrote in and e-mail“Jack Hatch is going to learn the hard way in November: Iowans are tired of these dirty attacks and they will not reward him for these juvenile tactics more fitting of an upset toddler than a legitimate candidate for governor."Schultz did not respond to a question about whether the governor would pledge to raise taxes for road repairs or not.The "Iowa Press" program will air at 7:30 p.mFriday and noon Sunday on IPTVThe program will also be broadcast on IPTV WORLD (.3) at 8:30 a.mSaturday"Iowa Press" will be available online beginning Thursday evening at if( showSurvey ) { try { _402_Show(); } catch(e){} } .t402-inline-block, .t402-prompt-iframe-container { z-index: 99!important; float:left!important; width:375px!important; }

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