Power changes in Iowa legislature - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Power changes in Iowa legislature

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- The tides have changed not only in the Governor's office, but also in the Iowa House.

Republican leaders say after seeing Governor Elect Terry Branstad's lead going into Tuesday they really weren't surprised he ended up on top.

"We were confident Terry Branstad was going to be successful and we thought we had an opportunity to win back the legislative majority, but we didn't anticipate that big of a win in the Iowa House and of course to make significant gains in the Senate," said Matt Strawn, Iowa GOP Chairman.

All 100 seats were up for re-election in the Iowa House and Republicans only needed to take over seven seats to win the majority.

The Iowa House Democrats held the majority, 56 seats to 44 seats. Republicans now have the lead with 51 seats to 38 seats.

Democratic leaders were surprised with the change in power, but say there is still work to be done.

"I'm not sure yet what to chalk it up to. I think we maybe the only state in all 50 who retained all our incumbent congressman. So we haven't analyzed this yet. I do know this, we are going back to work," said Sue Dvorsky, Iowa Democratic Chair.

And for the party who prided themselves on helping Iowa be the 3rd best run state in the nation based on a recent survey by 24/7 Wall Street, Democrats say they plan to work with Branstad to make that even better.

"We are now the 3rd best managed state. We would look forward to helping the governor elect get us to the 2nd best managed state. We think that's a goal. We are going to work with him and make sure that gets done," said Dvorsky.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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