Many expected a lot of money to be spent in the 2018 Iowa Gubernatorial Race and now that it is considered a toss-up we can probably expect even more. Last week, campaign finance disclosures were due July 19, and these reports give us some insight into how fundraising is going right after the primary on June 5th.

Heading into the reporting period the Republican incumbent, Governor Kim Reynolds, started the reporting period with $4,007,778.61. Her Democrat challenger, Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell, who easily won his primary, began the general election race with $114,941.21.

Reynolds spent twice as much money during this reporting period than Hubbell did – $1,551,669.81 to $763,692.62. Considering Reynolds did not have a contested primary, these expenditures are not surprising as she ramped up spending on ads.

Hubbell outraised Reynolds during this reporting period – $2,601,424.47 to $1,173,647.31. This news helps Democrats establish a narrative that there is a groundswell of support behind Hubbell’s campaign, but it is also helpful to break the contributions down.

Outside Money

Out of Hubbell’s campaign contributions (which did not include his own money this reporting period) $1,098,443.50 – 42 percent of his contributions – were from outside of Iowa. Reynolds’ outside contributions amounted to $237,695 – 20 percent of the period’s total contributions. These amounts include both individual donations and PAC contributions.

PAC/Political Committee Donations

Hubbell also has A LOT of PAC and political committee help. $842,017.50 of the money – 32 percent of his total contributions – came from PACs or political committees. His three largest PAC contributors were:

  • AFSCME People (DC) – $350,000
  • Democrat Governors Association (DC) – $250,000
  • Iowa State Education Association PAC – $100,000

$676,000 of Hubbell’s PAC contributions were from outside the state while $166,017.50 came from inside the state.

Reynolds received $77,100 in PAC or political committee money making up seven percent of her total contributions.

Her three largest PAC contributors were:

  • Doll Family PAC (Iowa) – $25,000
  • Association of General Contractors of Iowa PAC – $15,000
  • Iowa Industry PAC – $7250

From Reynolds’ PAC campaign contributions only $13,100 came from outside the state, $64,000 came from inside the state.

Individual Iowans

Out of the $1,336,936.47 Hubbell raised in Iowa from individual donors, $530,300 came from major individual donors ($10,000 or more). Out of those major donors – $250,000 came from three donors – Art Coppola of Norwalk, Harry Bookey of Des Moines, and William C. Knapp of Des Moines. Hubbell raised $806,663.47 from individuals who donated less than $10,000.

Out of the $871,952 Reynolds raised from individual donors in the state, $313.000 came from major donors with the largest donation being $25,000. She raised $558,952 in Iowa from donors who gave less than $10,000.


While Hubbell outraised Reynolds and spent less than she did during this reporting period she still has more cash on hand moving forward. Reynolds reported having $3,629,686.13 in the bank. The Hubbell campaign has $1,952,673.06 going forward.

Outside DC groups have shown they are committed to spending a lot of money in Iowa to swing the Governor’s office back to the Democrat column, whether AFSCME and the DGA will continue this pace remains to be seen. Iowa State Education Association PAC only donated to Hubbell during this reporting period, and they have over a half a million in the bank still. Labor money will likely continue to pour in.

Also, Hubbell has donated $3 million to his campaign; he could spend much more if needed.

Another thing to consider when looking at the uptick in individual donors for Hubbell, many were probably holding off until there was a nominee whether that pace continues is questionable.

I was also surprised that the Republican Governors Association did not contribute to Reynolds during this period. They won’t sit out and will be a factor with both direct contributions and the direct ad buys they make in the state. I also expect additional DC groups will get involved in this race on behalf of Reynolds (or against Hubbell) as we draw closer to November.

Reynolds did not need to out-raise Hubbell this period, but her campaign will need to pick up the pace moving forward.

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