Iowa House Speaker to step down at end of year


Courtesy of the Iowa Legislature

Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer announced she plans to step down as Speaker at the end of 2019 and retire as a representative after her current term expires.

Jillian Seweryn

Iowa House of Representatives Speaker Linda Upmeyer announced Monday she is stepping down from her position at the end of 2019 and has no plans to stand for reelection as a representative in the 2020 election. 

Upmeyer has spent the last four years in the top position of the Iowa House.

“After thoughtful consideration, I have made the decision that it is time for me to step away from the Legislature to spend more time with my husband, kids and grandkids,” Upmeyer said in a statement. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of Iowa. I want to thank all of my constituents that have allowed me to represent them in the Iowa House over the past 17 years.” 

As the first female speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives, Upmeyer has “shattered the glass ceiling” said Jeff Kaufmann, Republican Party of Iowa chairman, in a statement.

“She showed young women that being a leader isn’t just about being female. It’s about not stepping away from a challenge and forging your own way,” Kaufmann said.

Upmeyer was elected speaker in 2015 and began her term at the start of 2016. During her tenure as speaker — and before — she represented Iowa House District 54 and addressed several issues in the role.

In May 2018, Upmeyer helped to pass the largest tax cut in the history of Iowa, reducing $2.1 billion in state revenues over six fiscal years. In addition to that, Upmeyer proposed $89.5 million in “serious money” be put toward K-12 education in February.

“Speaker Linda Upmeyer is a dear friend as well as a talented and tenacious legislator,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “Together, we tackled some of the most important issues facing the state. Linda will be remembered as a remarkable public servant who helped move Iowa in a better direction.” 

The Iowa House Republicans will soon elect a new speaker for the upcoming session starting in January 2020.