Later this morning, Governor Kim Reynolds will take the oath of office for a four-year term.
“It’s very humbling,” Reynolds told Radio Iowa recently. “I’m really honored and humbled. It’s a privilege to get to do this. I’m just really excited.”
When Reynolds raises her right hand, she will rest her other hand on the same Bible she used on May 24, 2017. That’s when Reynolds took over as governor in the middle of a four-year term.
“It’s my Bible from confirmation, way back when,” she said during a Radio Iowa interview earlier this month.
Reynolds plans to wear a bracelet with the imprint of a Bible verse, too. It’s a gift from her daughters.
“The girls gave me a really, really nice, neat little inspirational bracelet the night of the election,” Reynolds said.
She’s now the first woman to be elected by Iowans to be governor. Her inaugural address is scheduled to start sometime between 10:15 and 10:30. Reynolds reached today’s milestone by defeating a Democratic challenger by about three percent — the closest race for governor in 62 years.
“How grateful I am to be given the opportunity to lead,” Reynolds told Radio Iowa. “It’s not something that I’m taking lightly.”
Former State Senator Maggie Tinsman of Bettendorf is the co-founder of 50-50 in 2020, a group dedicated to helping elect women. And Tinsman is thrilled about today.
“Women know how to bring people together and solve the problem,” Tinsman said. “That’s what politics is — problem solving.”
Tinsman predicts Reynolds will set an example that will encourage other women to run for political office.
“When you have the top leader be a female, it means other women will think: ‘Well, maybe I could do that,'” Tinsman said.
There are a variety of events on today’s schedule. In addition to this morning’s “swearing in” ceremony, there’s an open house at the governor’s mansion starting at noon. An open house at the state capitol starts at 2 p.m.
Attendance at the two inaugural balls in Des Moines this evening could be affected by the snow that’s in the forecast. That’s a “little bit” of a worry to the governor.
“But we’re in Iowa, so we’re hearty,” Reynolds told reporters at the statehouse yesterday. “…I know if I bought a dress and shoes and was ready to go, I’d probably do everything I could — while being safe — to get to the ball, so hopefully it won’t be too bad and we’ll have a good turn-out.”
A waiting list developed for tickets to the inaugural ball that will be held at the convention center in downtown Des Moines, so a second ball will be held in a venue nearby. Last night, a service of dedication was held at the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, “which is, honestly, one of my favorite parts,” Reynolds said yesterday.
“And then, we’ll get sworn in and go have a party. How about that? Go have a ball.”
State Representative Joel Fry is from Osceola, the town Reynolds has called home since the early 1990s.
“There’s a lot of excitement in Osceola…plenty of people coming up for enjoy the festivities,” Fry said yesterday. “People know her well. She was our (Clarke County) Treasurer for many years, so she’s know from the courthouse perspective, but also known as a community member. Her children went to school there, so they’re all known in the community as well.”
Fry calls the weather forecast “iffy” and admits it could cause problems tonight for people from the southern Iowa community who bought tickets for one of the inaugural balls.