Jack Hatch

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Jack Hatch
Current candidacy
Running for Governor of Iowa
General electionNovember 4, 2014
Current office
Iowa State Senate District 17
In office
Term ends
January 10, 2015
Years in position 11
Assistant Majority Leader, Iowa State Senate
Base salary$25,000/year
Per diem$135/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected2002
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Iowa State House of Representatives
Bachelor'sDrake University, 1972
Master'sDrake University, 1973
BirthdayMarch 13, 1950
Place of birthHartford, CT
ProfessionBusiness Owner
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Jack Hatch (b. March 13, 1950) is a Democratic member of the Iowa State Senate, representing District 17. He was first elected to the chamber in 2002. He previously served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1984 to 2002.

On September 16, 2013, Hatch announced his candidacy for the office of Governor of Iowa. He is unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the primary on June 3, 2014, and hopes to unseat long-serving Republican incumbent Terry Branstad in the general election, which takes place November 4, 2014.[1][2][3]


Hatch earned his B.S. and M.P.A. from Drake University in 1972 and 1973, respectively. His professional experience includes working as Chair of the National Housing and Neighborhood Development Corporation, Assistant Planner for the City of Des Moines, Assistant Director for the Central Iowa Regional Association of Local Government, Owner of Hatch and Associates and real estate developer.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Hatch served on the following committees:

Iowa Committee Assignments, 2012
Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa
Human Resources
Labor and Business Relations


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Hatch served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Hatch served on these committees:



See also: Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014

Hatch is running for Governor of Iowa in 2014. Hatch was uncontested for the Democratic nomination in the June 3 primary and will face Republican incumbent Gov. Terry Branstad in the general election. Hatch's running mate is Monica Vernon.[2] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.[4]

Race background

Republican incumbent Terry Branstad is running for re-election to a sixth non-consecutive term as governor in 2014. Branstad first held the governorship from 1983 to 1999, and then reemerged after years in political retirement to win back the office in the 2010 gubernatorial election. In January 2011, one week into his comeback term, Branstad became both Iowa's and the nation's longest serving governor.[5] Current Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds (R), who was Branstand's running mate in 2010, is also seeking re-election and will share the ticket with Branstad for the second time this November.[6]

Despite a troubling couple of months leading up to the June 2 primary, Branstad managed an easy victory over GOP challenger Tom Hoefling to secure the party's re-nomination.

Branstad and Hatch will appear on the November general election ballot along with third party candidates Lee Hieb (Libertarian), Jim Hennager (New Independent Party) and Jonathan Narcisse (Iowa Party) and their respective running mates.[7][8]

Polls, approval ratings

Before Branstad formally launched his campaign, polls showed him in excellent standing for winning re-election, with an average lead of 20 percentage points in hypothetical general election match-ups.[9] Branstad had looked considerably less secure around the time ex-Democratic challenger Tyler Olson entered the race back in July 2013, with only 43 percent of polled voters saying they believed the governor deserved to be re-elected and 54 percent answering that he has held office long enough, even though 51 percent approved of his performance. December's numbers from Quinnipiac University gave him a boost of eight percentage points in both approval and "deserves to be re-elected" categories.[10][11] As of mid-March, polled continued to show Branstad sitting comfortably at 63 percent job approval and Hatch trailing behind by 15 points.[12]

By spring, a string of scandals inside the Branstad administration had caused a steep downturn in the incumbent's job approval and trust rating among Iowa voters. In a short space of time, Branstad was accused of using his office to commit or facilitate a variety of crimes and improprieties, such as: the wrongful firing of a state trooper who nabbed the governor for speeding, crooked dealings with a state judge, abuse in an Iowa juvenile home and giving hush-payments to fired state employees claiming to victims of political revenge. Amid the resulting storm of bad press directed at Branstad and his office, the governor maintained a policy of denying knowledge or involvement in these alleged transgressions. According to an April 22 Public Policy Poll for Progress Iowa, 83 percent of Iowa voters said they were either somewhat or very aware of the scandals and 56 percent indicated they were unconvinced by Branstad's official line of denial.[13] In addition, 30 percent of respondents said they thought Branstad should resign, while the rest were split almost evenly between believing he should stay and "Not sure." As of April, besides shedding voters' doubt on Branstad's honesty and integrity, the allegations cost the jobs of numerous state department leaders and prompted state lawmakers to call for an independent investigation.[13][14] Branstad closed out the month leading Hatch 45-43, his smallest-ever edge, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the conservative-leaning Daily Caller.[15]

Candidate withdrawals

Democratic State Rep. Tyler Olson declared his candidacy for governor in July 2013 and was considered a strong contender for the party's nomination before withdrawing from the race in December.[16] He decided to drop out following the announcement of his separation from wife Sarah Olson, who had been an instrumental part of his family-oriented campaign.[17][18] Olson's withdrawal was followed soon thereafter by former state Sen. Bob Krause's announcement he was shutting down his campaign. Their absences cleared the path for remaining Democratic hopeful Jack Hatch to face Branstad in the general election. Krause immediately gave Hatch his support, while Olson noticeably declined to endorse Hatch upon dropping out of the race.[16][19]


Governor of Iowa: Branstad vs. Hatch
Poll Terry Branstad* (R) Jack Hatch (D)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
(December 10-15, 2013)
Selzer & Company/The Des Moines Register Poll
(December 8-11, 2013)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(March 5-10, 2014)
(April 3-8, 2014)
Public Policy Poll/Progress Iowa*
(April 19-20, 2014)
Public Policy Poll/Progress Iowa Continued*
(April 19-20, 2014)
Vox Populi/Daily Caller Poll
(April 22-24, 2014)
Hickman Analytics Poll
(April 24-30, 2014)
Global Strategy Group
(May 13-15, 2014)
Public Policy Poll
(May 15-19, 2014)
Vox Populi Polling
(June 4-5, 2014)
(June 4-5, 2014)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(June 12-16, 2014)
NBC News/Marist Poll
(July 16, 2014)
Loras College Poll
(September 2-5, 2014)
AVERAGES 47.9% 37.3% 14.2% +/-3.43 929.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

*The April 19-20 Progress Iowa poll is displayed above as two separate polls to delineate responses registered before and after respondents were provided information on recent scandals effecting the administration of Gov. Branstad.

Governor of Iowa: Branstad vs. Krause
Poll Terry Branstad* (R) Bob Olson (D)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
(December 10-15, 2013)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Governor of Iowa: Branstad vs. Olson
Poll Terry Branstad* (R) Tyler Olson (D)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
(December 10-15, 2013)
Selzer & Company/The Des Moines Register Poll
(December 8-11, 2013)
AVERAGES 50.5% 30% 19.5% +/-3.1 1,133.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


See also: Iowa State Senate elections, 2010

Hatch won re-election to the 33rd District seat in the November 2 general election. He was unopposed and received 10,565 votes.[20]

In the June 8 primary election, Hatch ran unopposed.[21]

Iowa State Senate, District 33 (2010) General Election
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Jack Hatch (D) 10,565 100%


On November 7, 2006, Hatch was re-elected to the 33rd District Seat in the Iowa State Senate with no opposition.[22] He raised $54,212 for his campaign.[23]

Iowa State Senate, District 33 (2006)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJack Hatch (D) 10,204

Campaign donors


In 2010, a year in which Hatch was up for re-election, he collected $51,107 in donations.[24]

His largest contributors in 2010 were:

Iowa State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Jack Hatch's campaign in 2010
Iowa Dental Association$6,000
Iowa Association Of Community Providers$5,000
Iowa Democratic Party$3,774
Iowa Healthcare Association$2,500
Allbee, Richard A$2,000
Total Raised in 2010 $51,107


In 2006 Hatch collected $54,212 in donations.[25]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Iowa Hospital Association $3,500
Iowa Healthcare Association $3,000
Foster, Holmes and Marjorie A. $2,500
Bookey, Harry $2,500


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Iowa

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Iowa scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2012, the 84th Iowa State Legislature was in session from January 9 to May 9.[26]

Legislators are scored on "their records on constitutional principles and civil liberties."
Legislators are scored on their votes on "key conservative issues."
Legislators are scored on their votes with or against SC's official position.


Hatch and his wife, Sonja Roberts, have two children.

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See also

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  1. SunHerald.com, "Democratic state senator launches run for governor," September 16, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Daily Iowan, "Iowa senator announces campaign for governor," September 17, 2013
  3. Jack Hatch for Governor 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed September 17, 2013
  4. 'Desmoines Register, "Register Exclusive: Bruce Braley weighs bid for governor," January 13, 2013
  5. Smart Politics, "The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time," April 10, 2013
  6. The DesMoines Register, "It’s official: Terry Branstad will run for sixth term as Iowa governor," January 15, 2014
  7. Lee Hieb for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed March 17, 2014
  8. Iowa Secretary of State, "Candidate Listing by Office 2014 General Election," accessed August 6, 2014
  9. The Des Moines-Register, "Iowa Poll: Iowans widely approve of state's direction, Branstad's performance," December 16, 2013
  10. Quinnipiac University, Iowa Voters Like Gov. Branstad, But Say It's Time To Go, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Possible 2014 Challengers Are Largely Unknown, July 19, 2013
  11. Quinnipiac University Poll, "December 17, 2013 - Iowa Gov's Approval, Re-election Prospects Improve, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Christie Tops Clinton By 5 Points In 2016 Race," December 17, 2013
  12. Des Moines Register, "Iowa Poll: Support for Branstad up; Hatch sees little progress," March 8, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Progress Iowa, "NEW POLL: Branstad Approval Rating Plummets After Scandals," April 22, 2014
  14. The Des Moines Register, "Branstad fires state director over secret settlement scandal," April 8, 2014
  15. Daily Caller, "Iowa Governor Poll," April 22-24, 2014
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named withdrew
  17. Tyler Olson for Governor 2014, "Homepage," accessed July 11, 2013
  18. The Des Moines-Register, "Iowa Poll: Iowans widely approve of state's direction, Branstad's performance," December 16, 2013
  19. The Des Moines-Register, "Krause ends bid for governor, endorses fellow Democrat Hatch," January 2, 2013
  20. Iowa Secretary of State, "Official 2010 election results," accessed December 24, 2013
  21. Iowa Secretary of State, "Official 2010 Primary election results," accessed April 7, 2014
  22. Iowa Secretary of State, "Official 2006 General election results," accessed April 8, 2014
  23. Follow The Money, "Money Raised by 2006 Senate candidates," accessed April 8, 2014
  24. Follow The Money, "2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed April 8, 2014
  25. Follow The Money, "2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed April 8, 2014
  26. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed August 2, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Wally Horn (D)
Iowa State Senate District 17
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jeff Lamberti
Iowa State Senate District 33
Succeeded by
Robert Hogg (D)