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Republican state lawmakers Thursday chose Sen. Amy Sinclair of Allerton as the new president of the Iowa Senate following the defeat of current Senate President Jake Chapman in Tuesday’s elections.
Sinclair first was elected to the Senate in 2013 and has served a majority whip and chair of the Senate Education Committee.
“I thank my colleagues for the opportunity to be the President of the Iowa Senate,” Sinclair said in a statement. “This role is critical to the success of our caucus and the Senate as a whole. I appreciate the trust they have put in me, and I look forward to continuing the progress we have made to make Iowa the best state in the country.”
Chapman, R-Adel, lost in a tight race for Senate District 14 to Democratic Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott of West Des Moines. The incumbents were thrown into the same district due to redistricting.
Iowa Senate Republicans on Thursday also reelected Sen. Jack Whitver, R-Grimes, as majority leader, a position he’s held since 2018.
Whitver was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011 and previously served as the Senate president. As majority leader, Whitver will lead the Republican caucus and set the party's agenda in the Senate.
Whitver, in a statement, said he was “humbled” to be reelected majority leader.
“I am proud of the accomplishments we have had over the last several years, like historic tax reform, controlling spending, and supporting law enforcement,” he said. “I look forward to working on important issues facing our state.”
Despite Chapman's loss, Senate Republicans were on track Thursday afternoon to pick up two seats and hold a 34-16 majority -- large enough to deny Democrats the power to block gubernatorial appointees that require confirmation by a two-thirds majority, according to unofficial results.
The Associated Press projected Republicans won 33 Iowa Senate seats as of Thursday afternoon, with a 34th Republican candidate, Michael Bousselot of Ankeny, leading by more than 500 votes. The AP has yet to call that race.
And Republicans were on track Thursday to pick up four seats in the Iowa House for a 64-36 majority, although six races had not been called by the AP as of Thursday afternoon.
House Republicans reelected Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, as House speaker and Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, as majority leader. Both have held their current posts since 2019.
Rep. John Wills, R-Spirit Lake, was reelected as speaker pro tem, a position he has held since 2019. Rep. Henry Stone, R-Forest City, was elected for the first time as House majority whip. Stone is serving his second term in the Iowa House.
Assistant leaders will be elected at a later date, according to a news release.
“Iowans have trusted Republicans with the majority in the Iowa House for over 12 years now,” Grassley said in a statement. “They have come to know us as the leaders that lower the tax burden, budget responsibly, and trust them to make their own decisions for themselves and their families. We listen to our constituents and we deliver on what we say we're going to do.”
Iowa House Democrats were scheduled to hold leadership elections Saturday, with Iowa Senate Democrats expected to vote late next week.
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