With the 2014 legislative session expected to end any day, Iowa House Republicans voted to elevate two rising stars in their caucus. Four-term State Representative Matt Windschitl moves up from assistant majority leader to Speaker Pro Tem, replacing Representative Steve Olson, who is not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, two-term State Representative Jarad Klein replaces Windschitl as one of four assistant majority leaders. Press releases on the changes are after the jump. All three lawmakers represent districts considered safe for the GOP; Klein and Hein do not have challengers.
So far the best comment on the move came from AFSCME Iowa Council 61 Deputy Political Director Brian Guillaume, who alerted Iowa Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix to the fact that the "House GOP elected a union boss to Speaker Pro Tem." Windschitl works full-time for the Union Pacific Railroad in addition to working occasionally in his family's gun store.
The full Iowa House Republican leadership team consists of Speaker Kraig Paulsen, Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, Majority Whip Chris Hagenow, Speaker Pro Tem Windschitl, and Assistant Majority Leaders Walt Rogers, Joel Fry, Lee Hein, and Jarad Klein. Representative Jeff Smith, who has been an assistant majority leader, is not seeking re-election.
Iowa House Republican press releases, April 30:
Windschitl Elected Speaker Pro Tem
(DES MOINES)-Today Rep. Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) was elected as the Speaker Pro Tem in the Iowa House.
Windschitl replaces retiring representative, Steve Olson (R-DeWitt) who resigned the post. Windschitl was first elected to the House in 2006 and has served as a House Assistant Majority Leader for the past five years.
"It is an honor to serve as the Speaker Pro Tem and I look forward to the challenge," said Windschitl. "I am committed to working on behalf of the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa and continuing to move the state forward."
Windschitl is a veteran of the U.S. Marines, a trained gunsmith and works full time for the Union Pacific Railroad. Matt and his wife, Ivy, have two daughters.
"Speaker Pro Tem Windschitl is one of the hardest working and most respected members of the Iowa House," said House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). "He is a principled legislator who is constantly working on behalf of Iowans and he will be a tremendous Speaker Pro Tem."
Pictured here is outgoing Speaker Pro Tem Steve Olson and incoming Speaker Pro Tem Matt Windschitl in the House chamber.
Klein Elected to Republican Leadership
(DES MOINES)-Today Rep. Jarad Klein (R-Keota) was elected as Assistant Majority Leader in the Iowa House.
Klein was first elected to the House in 2010 and is currently the vice chairman of the agriculture and natural resources budget committee and the agriculture standing committee. He also serves on the Environmental Protection, Labor and Public Safety committees.
"I'm honored that House Republicans have selected me to serve on their leadership team," said Klein. "House Republicans look forward to continuing to work on behalf of Iowans and move forward with ways to make Iowa stronger."
Klein is a fifth-generation family farmer. He and his wife, Rachel have three children.
Hein Elected to Republican Leadership
(DES MOINES)-Today Rep. Lee Hein (R-Monticello) was elected as Assistant Majority Leader in the Iowa House.
Hein was first elected to the House in 2010 and is currently the chairman of the Environmental Protection committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, State Government, Ways and Means and Agriculture and Natural Resources budget committees.
"I feel tremendously honored that the House Republican caucus has chosen me to serve on the leadership team," said Hein. "I will continue my efforts, working on behalf of Iowans to balance the state budget, grow jobs and protect Iowa's farmers."
Hein is a third generation family farmer. He and his wife, Jacky have two grown children.