Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen confirmed yesterday that he may run for the open seat in Iowa’s first Congressional district. If he does so, he can’t seek re-election to the Iowa House and probably would do well to step down as speaker before next year’s legislative session. It would be hard to campaign effectively across the 20 counties in IA-01 while trying to manage affairs in the Iowa House. Paulsen wouldn’t be a sure thing in the primary; Steve Rathje and Rod Blum are also seeking the GOP nomination, and others may enter the race.
The obvious successor to Paulsen is Linda Upmeyer, who has served as House majority leader for the past three years. If chosen, she would be the first woman speaker of the Iowa House, and I believe her family would also make history as the first parent/child pair who were both speakers. Upmeyer’s father is Del Stromer, who was a legislative leader during the 1980s. But Cityview’s Civic Skinny columnist recently reported Republican rumors that State Representative Peter Cownie may be the next speaker. Skinny added that choosing Cownie would be a “snub” to Upmeyer.
After the jump I’ve listed the 53 Iowa House Republicans, grouped by length of service in the lower chamber. Note that more than half of the House GOP caucus has served in the Iowa legislature for less than four years.
Any scenario spinning about the IA-01 campaign or the next Iowa House leader is welcome in this thread.
You can view the current Iowa House Republican leadership team and committee chairs here. I enclose below the full list of lawmakers who will elect a new speaker if Kraig Paulsen runs for Congress in 2014. Members of the leadership team are marked with an asterisk.
First elected to the Iowa House in 1992
First elected in 1994
First elected in 1996
First elected in 1998
First elected in 2002
First elected in 2004
First elected in 2006
First elected in 2008
First elected in 2010
Mary Ann Hanusa
Guy Vander Linden
First elected in 2012