DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, announced that she would not seek re-election in Iowa House District 54, and will step down as Speaker at the end of 2019.
Upmeyer, 67, has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2003 and became Iowa’s first female Speaker in 2016 succeeding former Speaker Kraig Paulsen.
Her father, Del Stromer, served as Speaker of the House in the 1980s, and the two are believed to be the first father-daughter pair to both hold the title of Speaker. Upmeyer was also the first woman in Iowa history to be elected House Majority Leader in 2010 and previously served as Chairwoman of the Human Resources Committee and House Minority Whip.
“After thoughtful consideration, I have made the decision that it is time for me to step away from the Legislature to spend more time with my husband, kids, and grandkids. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of Iowa. I want to thank all of my constituents that have allowed me to represent them in the Iowa House over the past 17 years,” Upmeyer said in a released statement.
“Most of all, I want to thank my family for being so supportive Whether I was in session in Des Moines, crisscrossing the state attending fundraisers, or traveling to conferences and other meetings in other states, their unwavering support and encouragement are what made it possible for me to serve. I can’t thank them enough,” she added.
During her time as Speaker of the House, the Legislature enacted the largest tax cut for families and small businesses in Iowa history, passed legislation to provide Iowans with additional options for affordable health coverage, and increased funding for K-12 education to an all-time high.
“I am incredibly proud of the things we have been able to accomplish for the people of Iowa during my time in the House. I know that whoever the caucus selects as Speaker will do a great job and continue to deliver results for our state. We have tremendous leaders in our caucus and I am confident in each of their abilities to take action on the priorities of Iowans,” Upmeyer said.
Upmeyer will continue to serve as Speaker until the beginning of the 2020 legislative session. A leadership election will be held on a future date to be determined.
Update: Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann discussed Upmeyer’s legacy on Twitter:
2nd Update: Gov. Kim Reynolds responds.
“Speaker Linda Upmeyer is a dear friend as well as a talented and tenacious legislator. Together, we tackled some of the most important issues facing the state. We passed the largest tax cut in Iowa history, secured historic investments for preK-12 education, implemented comprehensive mental health reform and fought to protect the lives of the unborn. Linda will be remembered as a remarkable public servant who helped move Iowa in a better direction,” she said in a released statement on Monday afternoon.
3rd Update: Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, responds:
“It has been an honor to serve alongside Speaker Upmeyer. I am proud to have led with her during the most productive years of the Iowa Legislature. Over the last 3 sessions, the Iowa Legislature implemented a number of significant pro-growth reforms and expanded career opportunities for Iowans. Together, we passed fiscally conservative budgets protecting the taxpayer’s money. We passed the largest income tax reform in Iowa history, rewarding the work and investment of every Iowan. It has been a historic period of policy achievement and attaining those goals does not happen without strong, effective leadership from the Speaker. I wish Speaker Upmeyer well in all her future endeavors,” he said in a released statement.