Attorney General Miller: Reynolds Can’t Pick Her Own Lt. Governor

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  In a surprise announcement Monday Attorney General Tom Miller says Kim Reynolds shouldn’t be allowed to pick her own Lieutenant Governor after she succeeds Governor Terry Branstad.

Miller’s announcement about succession rules comes after a review of the Iowa Constitution.  Details of Miller’s decision will be released later Monday afternoon.

Governor Branstad is in Washington, D.C. this week.  His confirmation hearings to become the next U.S. Ambassador to China begin tomorrow before the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.  If Branstad is confirmed he would step down as Governor, paving the way for Reynolds to become the first woman to serve as Iowa’s Governor.

Reynolds has said she expected to choose her own Lieutenant Governor when she took office.  Among those rumored to be considered for the post is Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.

This situation is a first in modern Iowa history.  Iowa Governor’s have left office before finishing their term twice since 1954.  Leo Elthon succeeded Williams Beardsley after he was killed in a car accident.  Elthon did not have a Lieutenant Governor.  Governor Harold Hughes resigned from office 15 days before his term ended in 1969 after being elected to the US Senate.  He was replaced by Robert D. Fulton for those two weeks until Robert D. Ray took office.  Fulton did not have a Lieutenant Governor.