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Hubbell, Hart say Iowa worker’s paychecks lag behind nation’s

MOLINE, Illinois – "She brings the same values but with a different background."

That's the description Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell uses to explain why he picked Quad City State Senator Rita Hart as his running mate.

News 8's Jim Mertens interviews Iowa Democratic Gov. candidate Fred Hubbell and Lt Gov. candidate Rita Hart.

Hubbell and Sen. Hart sat down with News 8's Jim Mertens as they kicked off their "Forward Iowa" campaign.

Watch the Iowa Democratic ticket's entire interview with News 8's Jim Mertens by clicking on the video above.

Democrats are quick to criticize incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynold's administration.

Despite a below federal level unemployment rate of 2.7%, the third lowest in the nation, Hubbell and Hart both say the state could do better because individual Iowans aren't seeing big hikes in their paychecks.

Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell.

"We do have record low unemployment, you're exactly right," admitted Hubbell, who was chief executive officer of Younkers stores in the 1980s before becoming president of the Des Moines-based Equitable Life Insurance company.

"But we also have record low personal income growth for people in our state.  So people are really struggling."

Hubbell cites statistics that show Iowa ranks 46th or worse among US states in personal income growth.

New statistics released by the U.S. Commerce Department released after the interview puts Iowa 15th in the nation in growth for the first quarter of this year.

"In the district I've represented over the last six years, Clinton County is a mix of manufacturing base and rural economy and we're seeing both of those being pushed and pressured, and the income levels have been struggling," said Sen. Hart, who lives in Wheatland, and whose district covers parts of Clinton and Scott counties.

"So we need to do better."

Click here to see News 8's interview with Gov. Kim Reynolds during her recent Quad Cities stop.

Hubbell is also quick to criticize Gov. Reynold's response to the Trump Administration's escalating trade battles, including hikes on foreign goods' tariffs, which has resulted in retaliatory trade moves impacting Iowa farmers.

"It's already over $600-million in impact, and we haven't even gotten to the corn and soybean and ethanol issues yet, and our Governor over the last month hasn't really said anything about it, and isn't really trying to do anything," he said.