Iowa Field Report has learned that newly elected Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley will have around half a million dollars cash on hand when he files his 2019 fundraising report later this week. This enormous sum will shatter the previous record for cash on hand at the beginning of an election year, set by former Speaker Linda Upmeyer.
Upmeyer set the previous record after being chosen as Iowa’s first female Speaker of the House when she reported a cash on hand total of about $452,000 in January 2016. In the fall of 2019, Upmeyer announced that she would not run for reelection, citing the desire to spend more time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. The new Speaker, Pat Grassley, was formally sworn into his new role on the 13th of January this year. The cash on hand number will provide the Republicans the most prodigious campaign war chest any speaker (of either party) has ever taken into a general election year.
While this is undoubtedly positive for Republicans, the news will likely be met with dismay from Democrats statewide and even nationally, who seek to flip the chamber in 2020. Iowa Republicans have laid out a goal of not only maintaining their majority but hope to grow it. This fundraising haul will be invaluable in turning that goal into a reality.