Who's who in the Iowa House for 2011 (revised)

When the 84th General Assembly convenes on January 10, the Iowa House will have 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats. House Republicans selected leaders and committee chairs last month, and Democrats finished choosing leaders and ranking committee members in the past two weeks.

All Iowa House leaders, committee chairs and ranking members can be found after the jump. I’ve included a link to a short biography for each state representative, as well as the year the person was first elected to the Iowa House and the district he or she represents.  

Republicans (60 state representatives)

Leadership team

Speaker Kraig Paulsen (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 35, covering suburban and rural areas in Linn County

Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 12, covering Franklin County and part of Cerro Gordo and Hancock

Speaker Pro Tem Jeff Kaufmann (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 79, covering Cedar County and parts of Johnson and Muscatine

Majority Whip Erik Helland (bio), first elected in 2008 in House district 69, covering suburban and rural areas in Polk County

Assistant majority leaders: Matt Windschitl (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 56, covering Harrison County, most of Monona and part of Pottawattamie

Renee Schulte (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 37, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Dave Deyoe (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 10, covering most of Story County outside Ames and part of Hamilton

Steve Lukan (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 32, covering parts of Dubuque and Delaware counties

House committee chairs

Appropriations Committee: Scott Raecker (bio) first elected in 1998 from district 63, covering most of Urbandale in Polk County

Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee: Ralph Watts (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 47, covering most of Dallas County and a small part of Boone

Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee: Jack Drake (bio), first elected in 1992 from district 57, covering Shelby County and parts of Cass and Pottawattamie

Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee: Jason Schultz (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 55, covering Ida County and parts of Woodbury, Crawford and Monona

Education Appropriations Subcommittee: Cecil Dolecheck (bio), first elected in 1996 from district 96, covering Montgomery, Adams, Taylor and Ringgold counties and part of Union

Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee: Dave Heaton (bio), first elected in 1994 from district 91, covering Henry County and part of Lee

Justice Systems Appropriations Subcommittee: Gary Worthan (bio), first elected in 2006 in district 52, covering Buena Vista County and part of Sac

Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee: Dan Huseman (bio), first elected in 1994 in House district 53, covering Cherokee county and parts of Plymouth and Woodbury

Agriculture Committee: Annette Sweeney (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 44, covering Hardin County and most of Marshall outside Marshalltown

Commerce Committee: Chuck Soderberg (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 3, covering parts of Plymouth and Sioux Counties

Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa Committee: Pat Grassley (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 17, covering Butler County and part of Bremer

Labor Committee: Lance Horbach (bio), first elected in 1998 from district 40, covering Grundy County and most of Tama

State Government Committee: Peter Cownie (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 60, covering part of West Des Moines

Transportation Committee: David Tjepkes (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 50, covering Calhoun and Greene Counties and part of Webster

Ways and Means Committee: Tom Sands (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 87, covering Louisa County and part of Des Moines County

Government Oversight Committee: Chris Hagenow (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 59, covering some of the western Des Moines suburbs in Polk County

Judiciary Committee: Rich Anderson (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 97, covering Page and Fremont Counties and much of Mills

Education Committee: Greg Forristall (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 98, covering parts of Pottawattamie and Mills Counties

Administration and Rules: Renee Schulte (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 37, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Environmental Protection: Steve Olson (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 83, including parts of Scott and Clinton counties

Ethics: Kevin Koester (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 70, covering Ankeny in Polk County

Human Resources: Linda Miller (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 82, covering part of Bettendorf in Scott County

Local Government: Nick Wagner (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 36, covering Marion and some rural areas of Linn County

Natural Resources: Henry Rayhons (bio), first elected in 1996 from district 11, covering Winnebago and Worth Counties and part of Hancock

Public Safety: Clel Baudler (bio), first elected in 1998 from district 58, covering Guthrie, Audubon and Adair Counties and part of Cass

Veterans Affairs: Royd Chambers (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 5, covering Osceola and O’Brien Counties and parts of Clay and Sioux

Administrative Rules Review: Dawn Pettengill, (bio), first elected in 2004 as a Democrat before switching parties in 2007; represents district 39, covering Benton County and part of Iowa

Note on experience: seven committee chairs were elected to the House for the first time in 2008; four were elected for the first time in 2006. Some of those legislators had plenty of relevant work experience prior to running for office, but others are only in their 20s or early 30s.

Of the 60 incoming House Republicans, 34 are either on Paulsen’s leadership team or will chair a committee or appropriations subcommittee. Another 22 were just elected for the very first time. These four relatively experienced state representatives were left behind:

Dwayne Alons (bio), first elected in 1998 from district 4, covering Lyon County and most of Sioux. Bleeding Heartland readers may recall Alons’ remarkably ill-informed views on climate change.

Rich Arnold (bio), first elected in 1994 from district 72, covering Monroe and Lucas Counties and parts of Mahaska and Marion

Betty De Boef (bio), first elected in 2000 from district 76, covering Keokuk County and parts of Iowa, Poweshiek and Tama

Jim Van Engelenhoven (bio), first elected in 1998 from district 71, covering most of Marion Couty and a little bit of Jasper

Democrats (40 state representatives)

Leadership team

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 67, covering the southeast side of Des Moines. He served as House majority leader for the last four years alongside House Speaker Pat Murphy.

Assistant Minority Leaders:

Ako Abdul-Samad (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 66, covering much of central Des Moines in Polk County

Mark Smith (bio), first elected in 2000 from district 43, covering northeastern Marshall County, including Marshalltown

Sharon Steckman (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 13, covering part of Cerro Gordo County, including Mason City

Mary Mascher (bio), first elected in 1994 from district 77, covering part of Iowa City in Johnson County

On December 19, House Democrats voted to create a Rural Caucus “that will focus on giving Iowa’s rural economy a boost by focusing on rural job creation, meeting Iowa’s rural infrastructure needs, and guaranteeing adequate resources for rural schools.”

Rural Caucus Chair: Andrew Wenthe (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 18, covering parts of Fayette, Bremer and Black Hawk Counties

Rural Caucus Vice-Chair: Dan Muhlbauer (bio), first elected in 2010 from district 51, covering Carroll County and parts of Sac and Crawford

Ranking committee members

Appropriations: Tyler Olson (bio), first elected in 2006 from district 38, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Administration & Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee: Mary Gaskill (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 93, covering part of Wapello County, including Ottumwa

Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee: Chris Hall (bio), first elected in 2010 from district 2, covering the northeast part of Sioux City in Woodbury County

Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee: Kirsten Running-Marquardt (bio), first elected in 2009 (special election) from district 33, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Education Appropriations Subcommittee: Cindy Winckler (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 86, covering part of Davenport in Scott County

Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee: Lisa Heddens (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 46, covering part of Story County, including the north side of Ames, and a small area in Boone County

Justice Systems Appropriations Subcommittee: Todd Taylor (bio), first elected in a 1995 special election from House district 34, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Agriculture: Helen Miller (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 49, covering part of Webster County, including Fort Dodge

Commerce: Brian Quirk (bio), first elected in 2000 from district 15, covering Chickasaw and Howard Counties and part of Winneshiek

Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa: Roger Thomas (bio), first elected in 1996 from district 24, covering Clayton County and parts of Delaware and Fayette

Education: Nate Willems (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 29, covering parts of Linn and Johnson Counties

Environmental Protection: Phyllis Thede (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 81, covering part of Davenport in Scott County

Ethics: Dan Kelley (bio), first elected in 2010 from district 41, covering most of Jasper County, including Newton

Government Oversight: Janet Petersen (bio), first elected in 2000 from district 64, covering part of the west side of Des Moines in Polk County

Human Resources: Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 45, covering most of Ames in Story County

Judiciary: Kurt Swaim (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 94, covering Appanoose, Davis and Wayne Counties

Labor: Bruce Hunter (bio), first elected in 2003 (special election) from district 62, covering part of the south side of Des Moines in Polk County

Local Government: John Wittneben (bio), first elected in 2010 from district 7, covering Palo Alto and Emmet Counties and part of Kossuth

Natural Resources: Curt Hanson (bio), first elected in 2009 (special election) from district 90, covering Van Buren County, most of Jefferson and part of Wapello

Public Safety: Bob Kressig (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 19, covering most of Cedar Falls and some rural areas in Black Hawk County

State Government: Vicki Lensing (bio), first elected in 2000 from district 78, covering part of Iowa City in Johnson County

Transportation: Jim Lykam (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 85, covering part of Davenport in Scott County

Veterans Affairs: Jerry Kearns (bio), first elected in 2008 from district 92, covering part of Lee County including Keokuk and Fort Madison

Ways & Means: Dave Jacoby (bio), first elected in 2002 from district 30, covering Coralville and North Liberty in Johnson County  

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