|43rd Governor of Iowa|
|Assumed office |
May 24, 2017
|Preceded by||Terry Branstad|
|46th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa|
January 14, 2011 – May 24, 2017
|Preceded by||Patty Judge|
|Succeeded by||Adam Gregg|
|Member of the Iowa Senate|
from the 48th district
January 11, 2009 – November 12, 2010
|Preceded by||Jeff Angelo|
|Succeeded by||Joni Ernst|
Kimberly Kay Strawn
August 4, 1959
St. Charles, Iowa, U.S.
Kimberly Kay Reynolds (née Strawn, born August 4, 1959) is an American politician serving as the 43rd and current Governor of Iowa since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, she is the first female Governor of Iowa.
Reynolds previously served as the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 2011 to 2017. Before she was elected Lieutenant Governor, Reynolds served as Clarke County Treasurer for four terms and then served in the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2010. Reynolds became Governor of Iowa in May 2017 when her predecessor, Terry Branstad, stepped down to become United States Ambassador to China. She won a full term as governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Early life, education and family
Strawn attended Northwest Missouri State University, for one semester (Fall 1977) where she took classes in business, consumer sciences and clothing sales and design. She dropped out of college after one semester. She later took classes at Southeastern Community College in the late 1980s, and then took accounting classes at Southwestern Community College between 1992 and 1995. She left both of these institutions. Reynolds began partially online classes at Iowa State University in 2012, and received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree in December 2016.
Reynolds was twice charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, first in 1999 and again in 2000. The 2000 case was originally charged as a Second Offense OWI, but eventually reduced to First Offense OWI. Reynolds was sentenced to pay a $1,500 fine and serve 12 months of informal probation. A related open container charge was dropped entirely. In 2017, Reynolds stated that she sought inpatient treatment for alcoholism following her second arrest and that she had been sober for nearly 17 years.
Reynolds served four terms as the Clarke County Treasurer before being elected on November 4, 2008 to represent the 48th district in the Iowa Senate, defeating Ruth Smith (D) and Rodney Schmidt (I). In the Senate, she was a member of five committees: Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, Local Government (ranking member), Rebuild Iowa, Transportation, and Appropriations Subcommittee (Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee). In 2010, Reynolds endorsed a ban on same-sex marriage in Iowa.
Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
On June 25, 2010, Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad publicly proposed Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor. The next day, she received the Republican nomination from the 2010 Republican State Convention. On November 2, 2010, the Branstad/Reynolds ticket won the general election. Reynolds resigned from her Senate seat on November 12, 2010 to "focus solely on assisting Gov. (Terry) Branstad’s transition team."
Reynolds was the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 2011 until 2017. Unlike Lieutenant Governors in many other states, Reynolds had specific roles, including co-chairing the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, co-chairing the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board, co-chairing the Military Children Education Coalition and serving as Gov. Branstad's representative on the board of the Iowa State Fair.
Governor of Iowa
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On May 24, 2017, Reynolds became governor of Iowa upon the resignation of Governor Terry Branstad, who stepped down to become the new United States Ambassador to China. Reynolds is the first female governor of Iowa.
Reynolds's elevation to the governorship created a vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor, and reports indicated that her selection of a lieutenant governor could be challenged in the Iowa Supreme Court. An opinion from the Iowa attorney general indicated that "an individual promoted from lieutenant governor to governor, as was Reynolds, [did] not have the authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor." On May 25, 2017, Reynolds announced that Iowa Public Defender Adam Gregg would serve as acting lieutenant governor; to avoid litigation, the Reynolds administration stated that Gregg "[would] not hold the official position of lieutenant governor" and would not succeed Reynolds in the event of her inability to serve as governor.
In 2018, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), Reynolds described same-sex marriage as a "settled" issue and said that she did not consider herself obligated to follow the Iowa Republican Party platform provision against same-sex marriage.
In May 2018, Reynolds signed a bill to revamp Iowa's energy efficiency policies. Also in May 2018, Reynolds signed a fetal heartbeat bill that the Des Moines Register referred to as "the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation". In January 2019, the law was struck down by an Iowa state judge, who said it was unconstitutional.
Reynolds began her first full term on January 18, 2019.
Through her judicial appointments, Reynolds shifted the Iowa Supreme Court in a conservative direction.
On June 30, 2020, there was media coverage when an Iowa State Patrol vehicle carrying Reynolds hit a Black Lives Matter protester, whom officials say intentionally stepped in front of the vehicle's path.
In August 2020, Reynolds signed an executive order permitting felons to vote in Iowa elections upon completing their sentence. Iowa was the final state to get rid of a lifetime ban on voting from felons.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Reynolds defied public health guidance and scientific recommendations in dealing with the virus. Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency on March 9, 2020. That same month she ordered the closure of some recreational businesses and school closure. She ordered a halt to what she described as "non-essential" surgeries, which included surgical abortions. During the pandemic, Reynolds did not implement a stay-at-home order and did not issue a face mask mandate. She did not follow the advice of Iowa health officials. In June, recreational businesses such as bars and restaurants were fully reopened, leading to surges in coronavirus case numbers. In July 2020, she argued that face mask mandates implemented by localities in Iowa were "not appropriate" and not lawful, and blocked them. She said that the science on the effectiveness of face masks in halting the coronavirus pandemic was not settled; the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and Iowa's own department of health all recommended that people wear face masks in public to halt the spread of the virus.
In July 2020, Reynolds said she would invalidate plans implemented by some districts to limit in-person classes to one day a week for most students, with online learning on other days, overriding local school districts and requiring students to spend at least half of their schooling in classrooms. This action prompted public school teachers from Iowa to begin sending their obituaries to Reynolds.
In July 2020, Reynolds had the lowest COVID-19 approval rating of any governor in the nation at 28%.
In September 2020, the Reynolds administration broke with the CDC's quarantine guidelines, as the administration issued guidelines no longer requiring individuals who had been close to someone who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus to undergo quarantine. In October 2020, she appeared at an indoor fundraiser for the Republican Party, and a large rally in an airport hangar for President Donald Trump; individuals did not wear masks or socially distance at the events.
Iowa Senate history
|Iowa State Senate District 48 Republican primary election, 2008|
2008 general election
|Iowa State Senate District 48 general election, 2008|
|Republican||Terry Branstad / Kim Reynolds||592,494||52.8%||+8.2|
|Democratic||Chet Culver (incumbent) / Patty Judge (incumbent)||484,798||43.2%||-10.8|
|Iowa Party||Jonathan Narcisse / Richard Marlar||20,859||1.9%||n/a|
|Libertarian||Eric Cooper / Nick Weltha||14,398||1.3%||+0.7|
|Independent||Gregory Hughes / Robin Prior-Calef||3,884||0.4%||n/a|
|Socialist Workers||David Rosenfeld / Helen Meyers||2,757||0.3%||+.05|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|
|Republican||Terry Branstad (incumbent) / Kim Reynolds (incumbent)||666,032||58.99%||+6.18%|
|Democratic||Jack Hatch / Monica Vernon||420,787||37.27%||-5.94%|
|Libertarian||Lee Deakins Hieb / Tim Watson||20,321||1.80%||+0.52%|
|Independent||Jim Hennager / Mary Margaret Krieg||10,582||0.94%||N/A|
|Iowa||Jonathan R. Narcisse / Michael L. Richards||10,240||0.91%||-0.95%|
In June 2017, Reynolds stated that she would seek a full term as Governor of Iowa in the 2018 election.
Reynolds' decision to have Rep. Steve King co-chair her campaign stirred controversy, as King has a history of remarks that have been described as racist. The Des Moines Register editorial board wrote, "Gov. Kim Reynolds has kept him on as her campaign co-chairman, while muttering increasingly thin-lipped denials that she agrees with his ideological extremism." Reynolds had previously praised King, saying he was "a strong defender of freedom and our conservative values". After Election Day, Reynolds criticized King and said that he needed to change his approach.
Reynolds won the Republican nomination for Governor and defeated Democrat Fred Hubbell and Libertarian Jake Porter in the general election on November 6, 2018. Reynolds made history as the first woman elected Governor of Iowa. While polls showed that she was trailing Hubbell, she defeated him, 50.3%–47.5%. She won primarily by sweeping nearly the entire state west of Des Moines. In particular, she dominated the state's 4th congressional district, which she carried with almost 61 percent of the vote.
|Republican||Kim Reynolds (incumbent) / Adam Gregg||667,275||50.26%||-8.73%|
|Democratic||Fred Hubbell / Rita R. Hart||630,986||47.53%||+10.26%|
|Libertarian||Jake Porter / Lynne Gentry||21,426||1.61%||-0.19%|
|Independent||Gary Siegwarth / Natalia Blaskovich||7,463||0.56%||N/A|
- List of female governors in the United States
- List of female lieutenant governors in the United States
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- Eric Levenson and Marlena Baldacci. "Iowa's 'fetal heartbeat' abortion restriction declared unconstitutional". CNN. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
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- "GOP can't keep shrugging as Rep. Steve King, President Trump pander to white nationalists". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- Bureau, Rod Boshart Times. "Reynolds rebuts Hubbell's call to reproach U.S. Rep. Steve King". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
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- "Reynolds Prevails Against Hubbell in Tight Gubernatorial Race". November 7, 2018.
- Kirkpatrick, Alex (November 7, 2018). "Iowa voters officially elect first female governor". KCCI.
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- J. Miles Coleman (July 30, 2020). "House Primaries: A Little More Action This Year Than Usual". UVA Center For Politics. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
- "Canvass summary" (PDF). sos.iowa.gov. 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- Office of the Governor official government site
- Kim Reynolds for Governor official campaign site
- Kim Reynolds at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
| Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 48th district
|Party political offices|
Bob Vander Plaats
| Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
| Republican nominee for Governor of Iowa
| Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
| Governor of Iowa
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Vice President
| Order of Precedence of the United States
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
as Governor of Texas
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Governor of Wisconsin