Iowa has a new governor. Kim Reynolds took the oath of office shortly after 10:45 this morning.
Reynolds will serve out the remaining 18 months of the sixth term Governor Terry Branstad won from Iowa voters in 2014.
“I’m incredibly proud to stand before you today as your governor,” Reynolds said in her first address as the state’s chief executive.
Branstad resigned shortly after 10 a.m. today. He was immediately sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to China. The federal judge who administered the oath to Branstad was Steven Colloton.
Colloton serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit and he was among the dozen people Donald Trump listed last year as potential picks for an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s Branstad who is now part of President Trump’s Administration.
With Branstad’s exit, the statehouse spotlight has shifted to Governor Reynolds. She delivered her first speech as governor to a crowd gathered in the state capitol rotunda.
“I have some pretty tough shoes to fill, I’m excited to step into my heels on behalf of the people of Iowa and work every single day,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds, who is 57 years old, is Iowa’s 43rd governor – and the first woman to lead the executive branch of state government.
“You know, I love this state and what it represents,” Reynolds said. “I’m a rural Iowa girl who grew up in a small community, was able to run for county office, to serve as a state senator and your lieutenant governor. And now, to serve as the governor of our state.”
Reynolds carried a lucky coin in her pocket and took the oath of office on a family Bible. She talked about growing up in St. Charles and about working as a check-out clerk at Hy-Vee.
“From where I come from, party label didn’t matter nearly as much as getting the job done,” Reynolds said. “I took that same approach with me to the Legislature, which means bringing people together to work for Iowans.”
Reynolds also looked forward, highlighting some of her priorities and at the top of her list is tax reform.
“Know that each day my team and I will ask ourselves what can we do to build a better Iowa,” Reynolds said. “Let’s move toward this shared goal together.”
Kevin Reynolds, the governor’s husband, is now Iowa’s First Gentleman. The couple’s three adult daughters, their spouses and eight grandchildren were on hand for today’s event, along with Reynolds’ parents.