Governor Terry Branstad, who is 64, joked about his age this morning as he convened the state executive council. “The signature’s about the same, but the hair color’s not as dark as it used to be,” Branstad said.
The council’s made up of Iowa’s statewide elected officials and the group does things like approve out-of-state travel requests from state employees. Branstad convened the group hundreds of times during his previous 16-year run as governor. The Executive Council today certified the results of the special election held earlier this month in seven southwest Iowa counties.
State Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, took the oath of office about two hours later. Voting is underway in northern Polk County today to fill an open senate seat that had been held by Republican Larry Noble. Noble has agreed to be Branstad’s public safety commissioner.