Reynolds fills out staff, chooses lieutenant

Adam Gregg was appointed to acting lieutenant governor May 25, 2017.

Maggie Curry

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced her lieutenant governor Thursday, after just one day holding the office. Adam Gregg, who until Thursday was the State Public Defender, will pick up the duties Reynolds previously had.

A release from the governor’s office says Gregg will serve as acting lieutenant governor, fulfilling all duties of the lieutenant governor’s office through the end of the term. This means he will perform all the duties of the Office of Lt. Governor, but will not be in the gubernatorial line of succession.

There was previous disagreement among state officials whether Reynolds could appoint a lieutenant governor. In December, Attorney General Tom Miller concluded that once Gov. Branstad resigned, then-Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become governor and could appoint a new lieutenant governor who would be in the line of succession. The Attorney General later reversed his opinion, stating that Gov. Reynolds holds both offices (governor and lieutenant governor) at the same time. 

The governor’s office said the appointment of a full lieutenant governor would lead to a costly and unnecessary lawsuit over who would be second in the line of succession due to his reversal.

As a result, Gov. Reynolds has chosen to designate Adam Gregg as acting lieutenant governor. He will fulfill the role of lieutenant governor, his salary will be $103,212, the amount set by statute for the lieutenant governor, and that salary will continue to be paid out of the Governor’s Office budget based upon the existing appropriation, but he is not in line for succession.

Read more on previous discussions here:

Under his previous role Gregg is credited with working with the judicial branch to support drug, mental health and veterans courts, which focus on treatment and recovery rather than punishment and imprisonment.

Gregg graduated in 2009 from Drake University Law School and served as the Governor’s Office’s top legislative advisor from December 2012 to June 2014.

“I have worked closely with Adam since he became our office’s legislative liaison and policy advisor in 2013, and have been consistently impressed with his energy, work ethic and demeanor as he worked through a number of legislative priorities for us,” Reynolds said. 

Gov. Reynolds announced five other additions to her staff her first day as Iowa’s 43rd governor.

Chief of Staff: Jake Ketzner served as the Branstad-Reynolds campaign’s organization director in 2010, then transitioned to policy advisor in their administration, according to a release. Ketzner managed the governor and lieutenant governor’s re-election campaign in 2014 before moving to legislative liaison. Most recently, he worked in the private sector.

Deputy Chief of Staff/Senior Adviser: Tim Albrecht rejoins the governor’s office (he previously served as the Branstad-Reynolds communications director from 2009-13). Last year, he launched Albrecht Public Relations and co-founded bipartisan polling firm RABA Research.

Chief Policy Advisor/Senior Legal Counsel: Ryan Koopmans was most recently a shareholder at Nyemaster Goode P.C., Iowa’s largest law firm, where he argued cases before the Iowa Supreme Court.

Chief Adviser: Catherine Huggins rejoins the governor’s office (Huggins served as Lt. Gov. Reynolds’ chief advisor from 2013-15) and will also lead special projects, according to a release. Most recently, she was executive vice president of Huggins Consulting Group and a lecturer at Iowa State University.

Press Secretary: Brenna Smith joins the governor’s office as press secretary. Most recently, she was a news producer at KCCI-TV in Des Moines. She was nominated in the same category in 2016 for her work on KCCI 8 News at Five.