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August 5th, 2015

Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen to Step Downbefore Next Session

Paulsen111Paulsen Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election, Intention to Step Down as Speaker in January

(DES MOINES) – Today House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) released the following statement on his decision to not seek re-election in 2016 and announced his intention to step down as Speaker of the House at the start of the 2016 legislative session in January:

“After much thoughtful deliberation, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Iowa House in 2016. I will continue to serve as Speaker and perform the duties of the position until the House convenes in January. However, it is my intention to step down as Speaker of the House in January at the start of the 2016 legislative session.”

Paulsen will serve out the remainder of his two-year legislative term.

Previously, Speaker Paulsen served the country in the United States Air Force where he served as an Operations Group Senior Weapons Instructor, Maintenance Flight Commander and Squadron Director of Operations. Paulsen was first elected to office in 2002 and has served in the Iowa House for 13 years. He has spent the last 7 years as the leader of the House Republicans serving as Minority Leader from 2008 to 2010 and then as Speaker of the House from 2011 to the present. Additionally, he served as vice chair of the Judiciary committee, chair of the Judiciary committee, and as the House Minority Whip.

“I have had the distinct honor of serving the people of Linn County and the state of Iowa for the past 13 years. Many instances in my life have afforded me the opportunity to serve. I count my tenure in the House as the best of my time in public service. But, now is the right time for me to step aside as leader and allow someone else to lead the caucus,” said Paulsen.

Paulsen oversaw the Republican takeover of the House in the 2010 election, which saw Republicans move from being in a 44-56 minority to picking up 16 seats and a 60-40 majority. Republicans currently hold a 57-43 majority in the Iowa House.

“My successor will lead a unified and strong caucus of 57 House Republicans this upcoming session. We are extremely well-positioned headed into an election cycle that will afford us an opportunity to further grow that majority. I am confident of the future of the caucus and I know there are bright days ahead for the state of Iowa. “

Speaker Paulsen will hold a media availability today at 1:30 p.m. in the House chamber at the Statehouse

Upmeyer thanks Paulsen for service, announces run for House Speaker

Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) today thanked Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) for his service to Iowans. Upmeyer’s recognition comes following Speaker Paulsen’s announcement earlier today.

“The Iowa House of Representatives and the state of Iowa have benefitted greatly from the leadership of Speaker Paulsen over the last five years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with Kraig since we were both elected in 2002,” said Upmeyer. “The state is in a stronger position because of his efforts and I wish he and his family the best in their future endeavors.”

Upmeyer confirmed that she would seek the support of her caucus to become the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.

“I love this caucus, I have fought for it and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I would be honored to continue to work on their behalf as Speaker towards our shared goal of making Iowa a better place to grow a business and raise a family,” said Upmeyer.

Upmeyer indicated a caucus and election would be scheduled in the near future. House Republicans traditionally hold a caucus in the late summer to discuss priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

Branstad, Reynolds issue statement applauding the leadership of Rep. Kraig Paulsen

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the following statements praising former Iowa Speaker of the House Rep. Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) upon learning of his decision to step down from his leadership post in the Iowa House of Representatives. Paulsen is one of the longest-serving Republican leaders in Iowa House of Representative history.

“Representative Kraig Paulsen has been one of the most effective legislative leaders I have had the privilege of working with at the state capitol. Even before he was Speaker, Representative Paulsen worked across party lines in the minority to prevent the passage of ill-advised, job-killing legislation. With the partnership of Iowa House Republicans under his tenure as Speaker, we balanced the state’s budget, restored financial stability in state government, passed the largest tax cut in the state’s history and passed student-focused education policies to raise pupil achievement, among many other things,” said Branstad. “As one of the longest-serving House Republican leaders in state history, I can understand Representative Paulsen’s decision. I’ve appreciated his friendship, leadership, and his partnership as we’ve work to build Iowa for the future.”

“As a former legislator who served during the period of reckless budgeting and across-the-board budget cuts, I’ve valued the commitment of Representative Paulsen to ensure government lives within its means just as the hard-working taxpayers of Iowa do each day,” said Reynolds. “Together with Iowa House Republicans, we’ve worked to make state government more effective, efficient and innovative. We’ll miss Representative Paulsen’s leadership during the legislative session, but we’re confident he’ll continue to honorably represent his constituents and work to protect the interest of the hard-working taxpayers of Iowa.”

A photo of Branstad, Reynolds and Paulsen from 2011 after Gov. Branstad had signed the last of the budget bills, which restored stability and predictability in state budgeting, can be found here.

RELEASE: Chairman Kaufmann Comments on Speaker Paulsen’s Decision to Step Down from Leadership

CLEVELAND – Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, who is in Cleveland for the RNC’s Summer Meeting, released the following statement on Speaker Kraig Paulsen’s decision to step down from his leadership post and not seek reelection:

“During my time in the state legislature and after I’ve been lucky enough to call Kraig Paulsen a friend. Speaker Paulsen is one of the most honorable men I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and a man of unquestioned integrity. Under his leadership we’ve maintained control of the House, passed some of the most far-reaching tax breaks in state history, and bolstered Iowa’s sterling reputation as a place to live and do business. His leadership will be sorely missed at the Capitol, but like all good leaders, I’m confident Speaker Paulsen is leaving the House in good hands.”

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