Fellow Iowa political leaders react to new roles for Gov. Reynolds, Ambassador Branstad
Iowa's political figures are recognizing and congratulating two of the state's top leaders today as they both take big steps forward. Kim Reynolds was sworn in as Iowa's 43rd governor this morning in Des Moines, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the state's history. Her swearing in came moments after Terry Branstad's resignation, who leaves the office as the country's longest serving governor. Branstad was officially confirmed as President Trump's Ambassador to China by the U.S. Senate this week.
Senator Joni Ernst has released the following statement in support of both Gov. Reynolds and Branstad:
“The position of U.S. Ambassador to China is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world, and I am pleased to see Iowa’s longest serving governor and my friend, Terry Branstad, confirmed for this position. As evidenced by his confirmation hearing, Governor Branstad knows China and its leaders well and will not only work tirelessly to advance our trade and economic interests with China, but will also skillfully tackle our other complex bilateral issues. I am so grateful for his service to Iowa, and I wish him and his family the very best.
Additionally, Iowa will be in good hands under now Governor Reynolds, who has made history today as our first female governor. Her leadership on critical issues over the last seven years, and her work alongside Governor Branstad, has prepared her well for this new role. Under Governor Reynolds, Iowa's future remains bright.
Today is an extraordinary day for our state and our nation. It has been an honor to serve the people of Iowa alongside Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds, and I look forward to continuing to work with both of these outstanding leaders in their new roles."
The state's senior senator Chuck Grassley says he's looking forward to working with Gov. Reynolds:
“Congratulations to Kim Reynolds on becoming Iowa’s newest governor and for making history as its first female governor. From her public service at the grassroots of Iowa as a county treasurer then to state senator and lieutenant governor, Governor Reynolds walks into the governor’s office in touch and with the experience, ability and know-how to hit the ground running in her new job. Iowa is in good hands under her leadership, and I look forward to working with Governor Reynolds on behalf of Iowans.”
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is also congratulating Iowa's new governor:
“Governor Reynolds is a hardworking, dedicated and selfless public servant and will provide strong leadership for the state. Over the past six and half years she has traveled the state extensively to meet with farmers and ag business leaders and worked to promote Iowa products around the world. She has also been very supportive of efforts to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and has visited water quality projects underway across the state. The Governor is passionate about supporting our agriculture industry and rural communities and will be a tremendous advocate for Iowa. I congratulate her on this historic achievement and look forward to continuing to work with her as she steps into this new role.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon has also released a statement on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party, saying he's optimistic for Gov. Reynold's tenure but is also critical of the former Lieutenant Governor's past track record while working alongside former Gov. Branstad:
“Governor Reynolds’ swearing-in today comes at a critical time for Iowa. We’re facing budget shortfalls topping hundreds of millions, the quality of education in Iowa is threatened due to severely underfunded public schools, and health care facilities are being shuttered. While we sincerely hope Governor Reynolds is able to succeed in addressing these challenges, Iowans cannot ignore her role in creating them in the first place.
For years, Governor Reynolds has stood by as our state’s problems have mounted and our future has been jeopardized. Instead of prioritizing job creation and the economy, she has pushed for an agenda that puts partisan politics ahead of middle-class Iowans. Governor Reynolds has promoted divisive social issues, while slashing funding for higher education, privatizing Medicaid, closing mental health facilities, and stripping basic rights away from Iowa workers.
We need a governor that is willing to put partisan games aside and ensure Iowa’s future is strong. If the past seven years are any indication, Iowans aren’t going to see this leadership from Governor Reynolds.”
Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann is lauding Gov. Reynolds for "breaking through another glass ceiling" during historic her swearing in this morning:
"With this mornings transition of power, Iowans can rest assured that they're in more than capable hands with Governor Kim Reynolds. Thanks to her deep and experienced background - as a mother, and as an elected official on state and local level - she's the single best prepared individual to assume the office.
We are proud to have played our part in supporting Iowa's first female Governor in Kim Reynolds, and we look forward to working with her to build a better Iowa."
This page will be updated as more statements are made throughout the day. Stay with KWWL on air and online throughout this historic day for Iowa.