Reynolds Becomes Iowa’s First Woman Governor

Governor Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES-Kim Reynolds made history when she became Iowa’s first woman Governor on Wednesday morning.  Reynolds took the oath of office in the rotunda of the Capitol in Des Moines following the resignation of Governor Terry Branstad as he prepares to serve as an ambassador to China.

In her remarks, Governor Reynolds expressed her gratitude to former Governor Branstad for his mentorship and his service as the longest-serving Governor in the US.

“If I can achieve even a fraction of what Terry Branstad did during his 22 years as Governor, I will consider it the greatest accomplishment of my professional career.  We worked hard, we had fun, and we got a lot done.”

Reynolds recounted her rise from Clarke County treasurer to state Senate, which led to her becoming Lieutenant Governor and now Governor.

“It’s so reflective of what can happen in this state when you have a passion, want to make a difference, and go out there and work for it.”

Governor Reynolds intends to hit the ground running, and she laid out her ambitious plans.

“In this state, I grew up learning the value of the dollar, and not to waste it-a lesson I intend to apply every day as your Governor.”

Reynolds continued by saying that jobs and a thriving economy will be a top priority.

“We’ve created pathways for young people to find careers that will keep them in Iowa.  We’ve implemented apprenticeship programs, skilled workforce training, and actively supported economic development.  We gave taxpayers a seat at the table, making it more affordable to own and operate a business.  We’ve modernized education. We’ve worked on policies that have attracted and retained high-tech firms.  We’ve had over $14 million in investment in Iowa, which represents a conscious choice for businesses to come to Iowa.  Let’s continue to make Iowa competitive.  As Governor, I will focus every day on reforming Iowa’s tax structure, energy policy, educating our kids, and workforce training for adults.”

On taxes, Governor Reynolds said that the structure should be “fair, simple, and inspire growth”.

“This will make it easier for businesses to grow and expand, and will create lasting careers for middle-class Iowans.”

Energy will be another high priority for Reynolds.

“We must view our rich renewable resources in ways that we never thought possible.  For years, our fields have fed the world.  Now they energize it.  Those fields have produced products that fuel cars and hosted wind turbines that provide power for homes and businesses.  And yet those fields are filled with untapped potential.  Our energy plan will help us continue to lead the way in wind energy and renewable fuels.”

Education was the third issue that Reynolds addressed.

“We will focus on STEM-Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, ensuring that our best teachers stay in the classroom, and also renewing Iowa’s emphasis on literacy.”

Ensuring that Iowans are prepared for the workforce is also important to Governor Reynolds.

“My goal is to have over 70% of Iowans pursuing an education beyond high school.  We’re going to build an Iowa where hard-working, middle-class families can live anywhere in our state and have the skills that they need to find successful careers.”

Reynolds intends to expand broadband Internet in Iowa during her term as Governor.

“Building a better Iowa also means connecting our state to the world by expanding high-speed Internet access, regardless of the size or location of the town.  A connected community means better jobs, safer communities, a better education, and a better quality of life.”

Governor Reynolds concluded by saying that she “will never stop working to make sure that every Iowan has the opportunity to succeed, to have a satisfying career, to raise a family, and to have a great quality of life.”

Reynolds is expected to announce her selection for Lieutenant Governor by the end of the week.

MacKenzie Dreeszen is a legislative assistant in the Iowa House and a political consultant specializing in fundraising.