Upmeyer to be first woman Iowa House majority leader

Today the Iowa House Republican caucus elected Kraig Paulsen to be incoming House speaker and Linda Upmeyer to be majority leader. The vote was no surprise, since Paulsen and Upmeyer were the top House Republicans during the previous two sessions. It’s still a historic achievement for Upmeyer; no other woman has ever served as Iowa House majority leader. James Q. Lynch wrote a nice profile of Upmeyer here. I didn’t know her late father was Del Stromer, who served in the Iowa House for 23 years, rising to the position of speaker. Upmeyer will be the “gatekeeper” who decides which bills come to a floor vote in the House.

The rest of the House GOP leadership team includes Jeff Kaufmann as speaker pro tem, Erik Helland as majority whip, and four majority assistant leaders: Matt Windschitl, Renee Schulte, Dave Deyoe and Steve Lukan. There was some speculation last year that Helland’s drunk driving arrest might cost him his leadership spot in the GOP caucus.

Republicans are likely to hold a 60-40 majority in the House next year, unless recounts change the outcome of one or more close races this week.

UPDATE: Iowa Senate Republicans re-elected Paul McKinley as their leader Monday. The Senate Republican whip will be Steve Kettering, and there will be five assistant minority leaders: Merlin Bartz, Brad Zaun, Pat Ward, David Johnson and Tim Kapucian. Johnson and Bartz have been the most visible Senate Republicans in the battle to overturn marriage equality in Iowa.

Republicans are likely to hold 24 of the 50 seats in the upper chamber, unless a recount overturns Mark Chelgren’s 13-vote lead over Democrat Keith Kreiman in district 47.  

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  • Ward

    If memory serves, wasn’t she one of the Republicans who we could count on to occasionally vote for some of Culver’s bigger proposals?  She might have a somewhat moderate profile from what I can tell.  If you want to govern, she would be my pick.

    If I were a partisan Dem I would want Bartz front and center because he strikes me as someone who is most likely to go on an irrational rant.  

    • Ward is my senator

      I don’t recall her breaking ranks on spending bills, but she did vote for the civil rights bill and a few other reasonable things too.

      • Better than nothing

        She sounds like someone people can work with if need be.  I have been trying to find everything I can on her and she certainly doesn’t seem to do much harm and mostly good.  

        • she's one of the ok ones

          She doesn’t break ranks often, but she will listen to opposing points of view more than the average legislator.