(Des Moines, IA) Today Iowa House Republicans elected a new leadership team to lead the caucus into the 2016 legislative session.
State Representative Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was selected as Speaker of the House. First elected in 2002, Upmeyer is currently serving her seventh term in the Iowa House. She previously served as the House Minority Whip for two years and most recently the House Majority Leader for the last five years. When not serving in Des Moines, she is a nurse practitioner. Upmeyer is the first woman to be elected Speaker of the Iowa House.
Upmeyer will replace State Representative Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) who announced earlier this month that he will not seek reelection next year and will resign as Speaker prior to the 2016 legislative session.
State Representative Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) was selected as the House Majority Leader. Hagenow is currently serving his fourth term in the House after being elected in 2008. He has previously served as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and served as House Majority Whip since 2012. He is an attorney and founding partner of the Des Moines law firm, Whitaker, Hagenow & Gustoff, LLP.
State Representative Joel Fry (R-Osceola) was selected as House Majority Whip. Fry is currently serving his third term in the Iowa House after being elected in 2010. A small business owner and farmer, he previously served as an Assistant Leader.
State Representative Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) was selected as an Assistant Leader. Nunn is currently serving his first term in the Iowa House. He is a small business owner and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the House Economic Growth committee and the House Education Appropriations committee.
“It is an honor to be selected as the next Speaker of the Iowa House and lead my caucus going into 2016,” Upmeyer said. “House Republicans are united and ready to return to Des Moines next January to continue crafting a budget that lives within our means and spends less than the state collects, just like Iowans do every day. House Republicans will also continue working to create a friendly business climate, strengthen Iowa families, and finding ways to make government smaller and more efficient.”
“I am humbled to be chosen by House Republicans as their new Majority Leader,” Hagenow stated. “I look forward to the 2016 session where House Republicans will continue to make Iowa a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family.”
State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) will remain as Speaker Pro Tempore and State Representatives Lee Hein (R-Monticello), Jarad Klein (R-Keota), and Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) will all continue their current roles as Assistant Leaders.
“Today is a historic day as Republican Linda Upmeyer will become the first female speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives. I congratulate Speaker-select Upmeyer and am eager to work with her, Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, Majority Whip Joel Fry and Assistant Majority Leader Zach Nunn to continue building Iowa for the future,” Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said in response to the news. “In Iowa, women are leading in key positions throughout state government – Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, State Auditor Mary Mosiman, Senate President Pam Jochum, the most female department directors in Iowa history, and soon the Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.”
“As the co-chair of Right Women Right Now, I’m proud to see Speaker-select Upmeyer being a trailblazer and role model right here in Iowa. Speaker-select Upmeyer, Majority Leader Hagenow, Majority Whip Fry and Assistant Majority Leader Nunn are dedicated public servants and will be strong leaders for the Iowa House Republican caucus as they continue to partner with us to bring high-quality careers to Iowa, focus on student-centered education that raises achievement in our schools, increases family incomes and makes government more efficient and effective,” Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Iowa House Republicans and leaders in the Senate to continue moving Iowa forward.”
“Congratulations to all those elected to the Iowa House Republican leadership team,” Iowa Majority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) said. “The Senate Republicans and I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the House Republicans, Speaker Upmeyer and Majority Leader Hagenow.”
“It is imperative that collaboration begins today as our state faces numerous challenges such as strengthening our economy, creating a more inviting tax environment and encouraging job creators to invest in our state to establish new career opportunities,” Dix added.
The changes are effective immediately with Speaker-elect Upmeyer slated to assume office at the beginning of the 2016 session.