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Iowa Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg saw an “incredible contrast” between Gov. Kim Reynolds and her Democratic challenger, Fred Hubbell, in the first of their three scheduled debates.

“If nothing else, it showed that Governor Reynolds has a very positive, optimistic vision for where things are at and where things are going,” he said Friday morning while traveling to Hiawatha, Iowa, for a news conference. “Fred Hubbell could only talk about negativity. He was trying to spin things in a way to make Iowa look bad. I don’t think Iowans want to get behind that.”

Gregg expects the Reynolds to continue to tell Iowans about the progress the state is making in the second debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Sioux City.

She’ll continue “making the case to Iowans why our leadership is the right leadership for the next four years,” he said.

Gregg also expects a different Hubbell to show up.

“I think she needs to be prepared for a Fred Hubbell who will be on the attack,” Gregg said. “He clearly did not come across as prepared, so I suspect his handlers will tell him he has to really come after her Wednesday night.”

The Hubbell campaign expects “another well-rehearsed performance” from Reynolds in the Sioux City debate.

“As the governor has consistently shown to even her own party’s criticism, she is fully committed to a negative mudslinging campaign chock-full of personal attacks,” spokeswoman Remi Yamamoto said.

Hubbell will continue “to articulate a clear, positive vision of how he will bring needed change on the issues Iowans care most — from reversing Medicaid privatization to investing in quality education,” Yamamoto said.

“While Governor Reynolds puts wasteful corporate tax giveaways first, Fred Hubbell will restore fiscal responsibility and put the budget behind the people-first priorities Iowans deserve,” she said. “As Fred stated in the last debate, he is in favor of a middle-class tax break. In contrast, Governor Reynolds and the acting lieutenant governor's misguided priorities overwhelmingly skewed their tax reform toward the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the middle class.”

Gregg responded that Iowa is on the right track because of Reynolds’ leadership.

“Folks don’t have to take my word for that. It’s true by any measure you can possibly think of,” he said. “The budget is balanced. We closed fiscal 2018 with a $127 million surplus. We have over $600 million in our cash reserves. Unemployment stands at 2.5 percent. We’re sixth in income growth.

“To sum up, Iowans are working. Incomes are going up, taxes are going down,” he said.

Hubbell would undo that, Gregg continued, by raising taxes “to a level Iowans can’t afford. Fred Hubbell wants to throw all that progress away.”

A third gubernatorial debate is scheduled at 8 a.m. Oct. 21 in Davenport.

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Business Editor/Night City Editor