Iowa House speaker speculation thread

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

Jack Drake

First elected in 1994

Dave Heaton

Dan Huseman

First elected in 1996

Cecil Dolecheck

Henry Rayhons

First elected in 1998

Clel Baudler

Dwayne Alons

First elected in 2002

Kraig Paulsen*

Linda Upmeyer*

Steve Olson*

Ralph Watts

Tom Sands

First elected in 2004

Chuck Soderberg

Dawn Pettengill

First elected in 2006

Matt Windschitl*

Pat Grassley

Dave Deyoe

Gary Worthan

Linda Miller

Greg Forristall

First elected in 2008

Peter Cownie

Chris Hagenow*

Kevin Koester

Jason Schultz

First elected in 2010

Walt Rogers*

Jeff Smith*

Joel Fry*

Mark Lofgren

Mark Brandenburg

Mary Ann Hanusa

Ron Jorgensen

Lee Hein

Chip Baltimore

Tom Shaw

Guy Vander Linden

Josh Byrnes

Brian Moore

Jarad Klein

Julian Garrett

First elected in 2012

Rob Taylor

Dean Fisher

Greg Heartsill

Tedd Gassman

Megan Hess

Rob Bacon

Mark Costello

John Landon

David Maxwell

Jake Highfill

Sandy Salmon

Quentin Stanerson

Larry Sheets

Bobby Kaufmann

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  • The next Iowa House speaker could be a Democrat n/t

    • I meant for the 2014 legislative session

      not after next year’s midterm election.

      Paulsen can’t be tied down at the statehouse if he’s serious about the IA-01 primary.