Kim Reynolds

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Kim Reynolds
Kim Reynolds by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
43rd Governor of Iowa
Assumed office
May 24, 2017
Lieutenant Adam Gregg (Acting)
Preceded by Terry Branstad
46th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
In office
January 14, 2011 – May 24, 2017
Governor Terry Branstad
Preceded by Patty Judge
Succeeded by Adam Gregg (Acting)
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 48th district
In office
January 11, 2009 – November 12, 2010
Preceded by Jeff Angelo
Succeeded by Joni Ernst
Personal details
Born Kimberly Kay Strawn
(1959-08-04) August 4, 1959 (age 59)
St. Charles, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Kevin Reynolds (m. 1982)
Children 3
Residence Terrace Hill

Kimberly Kay Reynolds (née Strawn, August 4, 1959) is an American politician serving as the 43rd and current Governor of Iowa since 2017. A Republican, she is the first female governor of Iowa. She served as the state's Lieutenant Governor from 2011 to 2017.

Reynolds assumed the governorship when Terry Branstad was appointed to be the United States Ambassador to China. She is running for a full term in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Prior to serving as Iowa Lieutenant Governor, Reynolds served as Clarke County Treasurer for four terms and then served in the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011.

Early life, education and family[edit]

Reynolds with husband Kevin Reynolds, in 2010

Reynolds was born Kimberly Kay Strawn in St. Charles, Iowa and raised in St. Charles.

She attended Northwest Missouri State University, where she took classes in business, consumer sciences and clothing sales and design between 1977 and 1980. She later took classes at Southeastern Community College in the late 1980s, and then took accounting classes at Southwestern Community College between 1992 and 1995. She did not earn a degree from any of these institutions.[1] In 2012, it was reported that she was taking classes at Upper Iowa University with the goal of "having degree in hand" before the 2014 election.[2] In 2016, she received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Iowa State University.[3]

Reynolds was twice sentenced for driving under the influence of alcohol, first in 1999 and again in 2000.[4] The 2000 case was originally charged as a Second Offense OWI, but eventually reduced to First Offense OWI. Reynolds was sentenced to pay a $1,500 fine and serve 12 months of informal probation. A related open container charge was dropped entirely.[5] In 2017, Reynolds stated that she sought inpatient treatment for alcoholism following her second arrest, and that she had been sober for nearly 17 years.[6]

Reynolds is a former pharmacy assistant. She was also on the staff for the Clarke County Treasurer's Office, Department of Motor Vehicles. She then worked as a Board Member for the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System from 1996 to 2001.[7]

Reynolds married Kevin Reynolds in 1982 and they have three daughters, Jennifer, Nicole and Jessica,[8] and nine grandchildren.[9]

Iowa State Senate[edit]

Reynolds during her time in the state Senate

Reynolds served four terms as the Clarke County Treasurer before being elected on November 4, 2008 to represent the 48th district in the Iowa Senate, defeating Ruth Smith (D) and Rodney Schmidt (I).[10] In the Senate, she was a member of five committees: Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, Local Government (Ranking Member), Rebuild Iowa, Transportation, and Appropriations Subcommittee (Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee).

Lieutenant Governor of Iowa[edit]

Branstad and Reynolds after the Cedar River floods of 2016

On June 25, 2010, the Republican nominee for Governor Terry Branstad publicly proposed Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor. The next day, she received the Republican nomination from the 2010 Republican State Convention. She resigned from her Senate seat on November 12, 2010, to "focus solely on assisting Gov. (Terry) Branstad’s transition team."[11]

Reynolds was the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 2011 until 2017.[12] Unlike Lieutenant Governors in many other states, Reynolds had specific roles, including co-chairing the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, co-chairing the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board, co-chairing the Military Children Education Coalition and serving as Gov. Branstad's representative on the board of the Iowa State Fair.[13]

Reynolds has led economic development trade missions to China, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, working towards increased exports, more foreign direct investment and new jobs for Iowa.[14] Reynolds was also elected Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) in July 2015.[15]

Governor of Iowa[edit]


On May 24, 2017, Reynolds became governor of Iowa upon the resignation of Governor Terry Branstad, who stepped down to become the new United States Ambassador to China. Reynolds is the first female governor of Iowa.[16] Reynolds won the Republican nomination for a full term in the 2018 election and will face businessman Fred Hubbell in the general election.

Reynolds's elevation to the governorship created a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, and reports indicated that her selection of a lieutenant governor could be challenged in the Supreme Court of Iowa.[17] An opinion from the Iowa attorney general indicated that "an individual promoted from lieutenant governor to governor, as was Reynolds, [did] not have the authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor.[18] On May 25, 2017, Reynolds announced that Iowa Public Defender Adam Gregg would serve as acting lieutenant governor; to avoid litigation, the Reynolds administration stated that Gregg "[would] not hold the official position of lieutenant governor" and would not succeed Reynolds in the event of her inability to serve as governor. The Reynolds administration has expressed support for "efforts to clarify language in the state Constitution to give an individual promoted from lieutenant governor to governor the authority to name a replacement lieutenant. Such a change requires the approval of consecutive general assemblies and then approval by Iowa voters".[19]

Electoral history[edit]

Iowa Senate history[edit]

2008 primary[edit]

Iowa State Senate District 48 Republican primary election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kim Reynolds 2,487 61.77
Republican Jim Parker 1,539 38.23

2008 general election[edit]

Iowa State Senate District 48 general election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kim Reynolds 14,274 52.97
Democratic Ruth Smith 11,653 43.24
Independent Rodney Schmidt 1,021 3.79

Gubernatorial elections[edit]


Iowa gubernatorial election, 2010[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Terry Branstad / Kim Reynolds 589,828 52.86% +8.2%
Democratic Chet Culver / Patty Judge (incumbents) 481,590 43.16% -10.8%
Majority 108,238 9.7%
Turnout 1,047,714
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Party Terry Branstad / Kim Reynolds (incumbents) 666,032 58.99
Democratic Party Jack Hatch / Monica Vernon 420,787 37.27
Libertarian Party Lee Deakins Hieb / Tim Watson 20,321 1.80
New Independent Party Iowa Jim Hennager / Mary Margaret Krieg 10,582 0.94
Iowa Party Jonathan Narcisse / Michael Richards 10,240 0.91
Write-ins Write-ins 1,095 0.10

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kim Reynolds high school graduate looking for work - Daily Times Herald". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ ""CBS Local," accessed December 19, 2016". 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  3. ^ Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds graduates from Iowa State, Des Moines Register, Molly Longman, December 17, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Young, Aaron (12 January 2017). "Incoming governor wants to be an example for those with alcohol addiction". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  5. ^ Iowa Criminal Case Number 05911 OWOM016618 (WARREN). Accessed May 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Alberta, Tim (29 June 2017). "The Governor of Trump's America". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Kim Reynolds". Ballotpedia.
  8. ^ Leu, Jon (8 December 2016). "Reynolds set to become Iowa's first female governor". The Daily Nonpareil. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  9. ^ "About the First Gentleman". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Election Results & Statistics". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  11. ^ Wilson, Kyle (November 15, 2010). "Reynolds resigns, Culver to set special election". Creston News Advertiser. Shaw Media. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  12. ^ "About the Lt. Governor". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  13. ^ "How Successful Are Lieutenant Governors Seeking the Governorship?". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  15. ^ "Reynolds named chair of NLGA". The Iowa Statesman. 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  16. ^ Rodriguez, Barbara; Beaumont, Thomas (2017-05-24). "Kim Reynolds sworn in as Iowa's 1st female governor". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  17. ^ "Sources Confirm Adam Gregg Set to Become Governor Reynolds' New Lt. Governor". 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  18. ^ Murphy, Erin. "Reynolds to make Gregg 'acting' lieutenant governor". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  19. ^ Murphy, Erin. "Reynolds to make Gregg 'acting' lieutenant governor". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  20. ^ "2010 Gubernatorial General Election Results-Iowa". Missing or empty |url= (help)

External links[edit]

Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Jeff Angelo
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 48th district

Succeeded by
Joni Ernst
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bob Vander Plaats
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
2010, 2014
Succeeded by
Adam Gregg
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Republican nominee for Governor of Iowa
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Patty Judge
Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
Succeeded by
Adam Gregg
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Governor of Iowa
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Iowa
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Greg Abbott
as Governor of Texas
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Iowa
Succeeded by
Scott Walker
as Governor of Wisconsin