By Molly Hunter
On Tuesday, Cathy Glasson officially announced her candidacy for the 2018 gubernatorial democratic nomination.
Iowa City was one of eight cities across the state where volunteers gathered on Tuesday evening to hear Glasson’s announcement and kick off the campaign’s first big canvassing effort. More than 20 people showed up at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.
Iowa City resident Sarah Chabolla was one of them. She works in politics and has worked on several campaigns, including the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Chabolla said she’s been involved with Glasson’s campaign since the beginning.
“I’ve known Cathy for a little over three years,” Chabolla said. “Cathy told me personally that she was going to run, and I was super excited and was ready to help out.”
Glasson’s campaign is focused on clean water for Iowa, universal health care, union rights, funding for K-12 education, and free community college.
But the defining issue of Glasson’s campaign is the fight for a $15 minimum wage, said Mallory Hellman, the director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project and resident of Iowa City’s Longfellow District.
“The fight for $15 is something that’s huge,” Hellman said. “It seems to me that that’s the issue that really distinguishes her from other candidates, and it’s the one that got my attention.”
Hellman said she became more intrigued with Glasson as she learned about Glasson’s dedication to education.
“Education is my life; I work in education,” Hellman said. “I think it’s a shame that Iowa has slipped in education in the recent years in terms of the quality of our schools and the funding thereof.”
The Glasson canvassers were focused on getting the word out about the Feb. 5, 2018, Democratic caucus and the June 5, 2018, primary vote. If no one gets 35 percent or higher in the primary, a convention will decide the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.
Ashley Swank was also at the library to canvass for Glasson. Swank lives in east Iowa City and works with students at ACT. She began volunteering with the Glasson campaign after attending the Aug. 31 AfterBern event at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St.
“I got to see her speak and immediately started volunteering for her,” Swank said. “It was really great to see someone, especially from where I live, actually wanting to do something about the status of Iowa.”
Swanks said Glasson’s experience with unions sets her apart from the others running in the gubernatorial democratic primary.
“I think it’ll give her a really unique opportunity to work across party lines for things that will best benefit Iowa,” Swank said. “Cathy will be able to bring out that compromise in people and really get things done.”
Swank said she was excited to see so many people active and throwing their weight behind Glasson so early on.
“I think [it] really shows that after the last election how much people are … getting involved [and] how much someone that cares can actually start inspiring people to not just get angry, but get active,” Swank said.