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Democratic field for Iowa governor narrows

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a potential rival dropped out of the primary race Thursday, Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch looked increasingly like he will be his party’s best option to take on popular Gov. Terry Branstad in November.

Hatch, a state senator from Des Moines, was endorsed by former Democratic lawmaker Bob Krause, who had been considering a run for governor. Another Democratic candidate — Cedar Rapids legislator Tyler Olson — dropped out of the race last month for personal reasons. One other Democrat, little-known Paul Dahl of Webster City, remains in the race.

Hatch, 63, will have to rally support and enthusiasm for a likely race against Branstad, a 67-year-old Republican who’s expected to run for an unprecedented sixth non-consecutive term. Branstad has strong approval ratings and is touting property tax cuts, education investments and a decline in unemployment as key accomplishments.