Asked about Olson, 37, who is portraying himself as the fresh new face in the race, Hatch declined to comment, saying he was focused on Branstad. Compared to previous Democratic challengers against Branstad, Hatch has little statewide profile. He acknowledged that he would need to boost his name recognition throughout the state.
"I do have to introduce myself," he said. "I'm not just a Des Moines politician. I'm a politician that cares about Iowa."
Hatch took a shot at Branstad in August over an incident where his official vehicle was found to be speeding and the investigator who reported the incident was fired. Hatch briefly ran a television ad dubbed "Smokey and the Branstad" that argued that the governor thought he was above the law.