Republicans in Iowa legislature regroup; Dix is new Senate GOP Leader (AUDIO)

Republicans who’ll be serving in the Iowa House met in a private at the statehouse this morning, electing the same leaders they had when the 2012 legislature ended this past spring.  Listen to House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) speak with reporters about the GOP agenda.

Here’s the news release from Paulsen’s office:

(DES MOINES)—Today Iowa House Republicans elected new leadership to carry them into the eighty-fifth General Assembly. 

Rep. Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) was selected to continue in the roll of the Speaker of the House.  Paulsen will be serving his sixth term.  He is an attorney for CRST International, Inc. in Cedar Rapids.  A former member of the United States Air Force, Paulsen had previously served as the Minority Whip and the House Republican Leader.

Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was re-elected as the House Majority Leader.  Upmeyer will be serving her sixth term in the House and is a nurse practitioner.  Upmeyer previously served as the House Minority Whip for two years and the Majority Leader for two years.   

Rep. Steve Olson (R-DeWitt) was selected to once again serve as the Speaker Pro Tem. .  Olson will be serving his sixth term in the House.  He has previously served as a House Assistant Leader and was elected as the Speaker Pro Tem in May to replace outgoing Rep. Jeff Kaufmann. He is a veteran and family farmer. 

Also elected was Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) as the House Majority Whip. 

Majority Assistant Leaders are:  Reps. Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley), Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls), Jeff Smith (R-Okoboji), and Joel Fry (R-Osceola).

“I’m honored that House Republicans have once again selected me to serve as their Speaker,” said Paulsen.  “House Republicans look forward to continuing to work on behalf of Iowans and move forward with ways to make Iowa stronger.”

The Legislature convenes on January 14, 2013.

This afternoon at about one o’clock Senate Republicans gathered in private to elect a new leader. It was unanimous on the first ballot. Senator Bill Dix of Shell Rock is the new Senate GOP Leader. Listen to Dix talk with reporters about his election, the GOP agenda for 2013.

 Here’s the news release about Dix’s election:

DES MOINES –Senate Republicans met at the Capitol today and elected leadership for the 85th General Assembly, which convenes on January 14, 2013.  Senate Republicans elected Senator Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) as Senate Republican Leader. 

“I look forward to the upcoming legislative session and the opportunity to find solutions to some of our continued problems: reducing the size of government, creating jobs, and putting Iowans back to work,” said Dix. 

Senator Rick Bertrand (Sioux City) will serve as the Senate Republican Whip while Senators Smith (Davenport), Ernst (Red Oak), Kapucian (Keystone), Johnson (Ocheyedan), and Feenstra (Hull) were elected as Assistant Leaders.

“The group we’ve selected brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and hard work to the table.  They will all be a valuable addition to our Senate Republican Leadership team,” said Dix.  “I’m eager to continue my work in the Iowa Senate moving the state toward fiscal responsibility, meaningful tax and education reform.”

Senator Dix is a third-generation farmer who started his political career in the Iowa House where he served five terms.  He was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 and recently served on the Senate Appropriations, Judiciary and State Government Committee and the Senate Education Budget Subcommittee.  

Here’s a news release from former Senate GOP Leader Jerry Behn:

DES MOINES – State Senator Jerry Behn (R-Boone) today released the following statement at the conclusion of today’s Senate Republican Caucus held at the Iowa Capitol:

“I decided not to seek re-election to be the Iowa Senate Republican Leader. Our new caucus leadership has my full support and I plan to work hard to ensure that we are successful in the upcoming legislative sessions and the 2014 election.

I look forward to spending more time with my family and farming business and serving the hardworking citizens of Boone, Greene, Hamilton, Story and Webster Counties in my new district.”

Here’s a news release from Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal:

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal issued this statement today
after the election of Senator Dix  as new Minority Leader:

“I congratulate Sen. Bill Dix on his election to be the new Minority Leader of the Iowa Senate.

“I make the same offer to Senator Dix that I have made to the other Minority Leaders I have worked with over previous sessions: To work cooperatively on the issues that Republicans and Democrats can agree upon, to find common ground whenever possible, and to make sure our differences on some issues do not prevent us from doing what is best for Iowa. 

“I also want to thank Senator Behn for his service as the Minority Leader and for his strong commitment to public service.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.