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PARTY CHANGE: Disappointing Results Draw New Leadership

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The Republican Party hoped to take control of the Iowa Senate in last week's election, but they failed to gain any ground. Now any hopes of regaining control will come under new leadership.

Iowa Republicans met Wednesday to elect their leaders for the upcoming session. Current Senate Minority Leader Jerry Behn of Boone chose not to pursue the position again, so Bill Dix of Shell Rock was picked to replace him.

Dix says he is hopeful that new members of the legislature will be more open to compromise than their predecessors.

He said, “We have some new faces and with new faces, I believe we all share the hope and optimism that new decisions can become reality from that.”

Dix went on to say that he can’t promise members of the Republican caucus won’t try to bring up past failed efforts on social issues, like abortion and gay marriage.

The rest of the leadership at the statehouse will stay the same.

Returning Republican Speaker Kraig Paulsen says, even though his party has a smaller majority this session, they will continue to handle issues the same way.

Last session Republicans held 60 seats out of the 100, so they didn’t have to worry much if a few party members voted the other way or weren’t at work that day.  Now with only 53 seats, they will need to pay a little closer attention and make sure everyone is on board to get things passed.

Democrat Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs will remain the Senate Majority Leader and Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines will be the Democratic House Minority Leader.