Jack Hatch supports the tuition freezes that appear to be a consensus between the legislature and Hatch's likely opponent this fall, Governor Terry Branstad. But the nearly certain Democratic nominee for governor says the freeze alone doesn't do enough to control higher education costs.
"I think it was great we did it," Hatch said of the tuition freeze at the regent's schools. "But Drake, Simpson, the community colleges, they got tossed over the side."
Hatch is calling for an accelerated BA program that would lower student costs by increasing the three and four year graduation rates, and a state low interest student loan program. "The financial institutions are not helping you," he told a University of Iowa student crowd, " they're just increasing your debt." Hatch also stopped at Drake and Grinnell yesterday.
With Tyler Olson and Bob Krause out of the race, Hatch is an overwhelming favorite in the June primary. "I'm the last man standing," he said, "some folks say I got the short straw." Other Democratic primary candidates are former third party contender Jonathan Narcisse and Some Dude Paul Dahl.
While Hatch remains an underdog against Branstad, he's pushing back on the notion that an urban Des Moines legislator can;'t lead the state. "This governor is not a friend of rural Iowa. The people being hurt the most on schools and infrastructure are the people he claims to represent."