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Pat Grassley Elected Iowa House Speaker

house republican leaders
Katarina Sostaric
Speaker Pro Tempore John Wills, House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl and Speaker-Select Pat Grassley speak with reporters at the Iowa Capitol on Monday.

House Republicans voted Monday to elect Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, to lead the Iowa House of Representatives.

The vote came a week after House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, announced she is stepping down from the top role in the House and won’t seek re-election in 2020.

Grassley is a 36-year-old farmer and grandson of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. He said House Republicans are unified after his election.

“[I] talked with almost every single member as I walked out the door, and I think we’re all on the same page, and we’re ready to get back into session and move forward a strong conservative agenda for House Republicans,” Grassley said.

Grassley previously chaired the House committee that oversees budget work. He is considered the speaker-select until the full House votes to install him as speaker when the legislature convenes in January.

Grassley was asked if Sen. Grassley made any calls to lawmakers in support of his grandson.

“I asked him if he wouldn’t do that,” Grassley said. “Because I think that when you look at an election like this, I think it’s really about what the will of the caucus is.”

House Republicans also elected Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, as their new majority leader. He serves as House Speaker Pro Tem and works for Doll Distributing, and is known for advocating for measures that expand gun rights.

Windschitl said it is too early to say what the new team will push during the 2020 legislative session.

“We still have to find out what the priorities of the caucus are, and as far as leadership goes, leadership is about listening,” Windschitl said.

Grassley and Windschitl were both born in 1983, and they were both first elected to the Iowa House in 2006.

Windschitl replaces Rep. Chris Hagenow, R-Urbandale, who was elected majority leader in 2015.

Rep. John Wills, R-Spirit Lake, was elected Speaker Pro Tem.

The new leadership team is tasked with guiding House Republicans’ lawmaking agenda, as well as trying to keep the House Republican majority through the 2020 election.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter