Branstad’s Move to China Makes History in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa– Governor Terry Branstad’s move from Terrace Hill to Beijing will make history in Iowa. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will become the first woman sworn into the office.

“As soon as he steps down, Lt. Gov. Reynolds would then be sworn in immediately,” said Kevin Hall with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

What happens next, is still unclear and could create a political shuffle if Reynolds appoints her successor.

“The Governor has the authority to appoint officer holders to fill the remainder of the term if a vacancy does occur so this could create a huge domino effect in state government and how this all plays out depending on who Lt. Gov. Reynolds would choose to be her lieutenant governor,” explained Hall.

But that’s still a big “if” according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Hall says there are differences between what the Iowa Constitution and Iowa Code set forth for the process of filling the number two in state government. An Iowa Governor leaving office before his term expires has only happened a handful of times.

“It’ s happened in the 1870’s, early 1900s, the 1950’s and then 1968. So four times in Iowa history,” said Hall.

In most of those cases, it was only a few months before the next person took office so the role of Lieutenant Governor remained vacant.

The Governor’s Offices says

information about the transition is still forthcoming. Officials are working with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to determine what happens once Reynolds becomes Governor.