Saturday, the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee voted to re-elect their current chairman Jeff Kauffman to another term. The committee also elected former Republican Speaker of the Iowa House, Linda Upmeyer, to serve as party co-chair. Both votes were unanimous.
— Iowa Field Report.com (@IAFieldReport) January 16, 2021
Saturday marks the first day of Kaufmann’s 4th term at the helm of the state party. IFR reported on Kaufmann’s announcement to seek another term in December.
Under Kaufmann’s leadership, Iowa Republicans elected the state’s first female governor, Kim Reynolds Additionally, when Joni Ernst flipped Tom Harkin’s U.S. Senate seat, Iowans sent their first woman to represent them in Congress. This year, Kaufmann oversaw a large increase in seats held by Republicans in the Iowa House and went from just one Republican out of Iowa’s four US House of Representatives seats to three. Plus, Senator Joni Ernst won her reelection campaign, seen as one of the most competitive races in the nation, against Democrat Theresa Greenfield.
On a call with reporters, Kaufmann said that he was pleased with how the November elections shook out here in Iowa but had already shifted his focus to reelecting Kim Reynolds as Governor, Chuck Grassley to the US Senate, and growing the GOP margins in the state legislature.
Kaufmann told Iowa Field Report that his immediate short-term priority was to build out and grow the local county party operations. Saying that the only way the party can continue to succeed is by working from the “Bottom-Up.”
Upmeyer announced her intention to run for co-chair after Dr. Cody Hofert said he would pass on another run at the end of 2020. From IFR’s article covering her announcement for co-chair:
Representative Linda L. Upmeyer represents House District 54. Upmeyer was also the very first woman to hold the position of Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.
In a statement to the press after the election, Upmeyer said:
“The Republican Party of Iowa and Chairman Kaufmann have been a huge asset in keeping Republican majorities in the state legislature and sending Republicans to Washington, D.C.,” said Upmeyer. “I’m excited to help expand these majorities in 2022 as we see tons of opportunities across the state.”
Iowa’s Republican Congressional delegation was quick to congratulate Kaufmann and Upmeyer on social media.
— Randy Feenstra (@RandyFeenstra) January 16, 2021
There’s no better duo to lead our party right now & I look forward to working with them to keep Iowa red!
— Ashley Hinson (@hinsonashley) January 16, 2021
— Dr. Miller-Meeks (@millermeeks) January 16, 2021
Outgoing Party Co-Chair, Cody Hoefer released the following statement to Iowa Field Report:
“I am proud to have worked alongside Chairman Kaufmann to have gained a U.S. Senate seat, flip and expand our majority in the Iowa Senate, retain our majority in the Iowa House, and deliver the state for President Trump in two consecutive presidential elections. I wish Linda Upmeyer and Chairman Kaufmann the best heading into 2022.”
Iowa Field Report Reached out to Iowa Speaker Of the House Pat Grassley for his thoughts on the election:
“Chairman Kaufmann and Speaker Upmeyer have delivered countless wins for Iowa Republicans up and down the ballot, and their hard work and steady leadership will be incredible assets as we look towards another crucial election cycle. I’m excited to work with both of them again to maintain and grow our conservative majority,” said Grassley.