Open main menu

Kimberly Kay Reynolds (née Strawn, born August 4, 1959) is an American politician serving as the 43rd and current Governor of Iowa since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, she is the first female Governor of Iowa. Reynolds previously served as the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 2011 to 2017. Before she was elected Lieutenant Governor, Reynolds served as Clarke County Treasurer for four terms and then served in the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011.

Kim Reynolds
Kim Reynolds by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
43rd Governor of Iowa
Assumed office
May 24, 2017
LieutenantAdam Gregg
Preceded byTerry Branstad
46th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
In office
January 14, 2011 – May 24, 2017
GovernorTerry Branstad
Preceded byPatty Judge
Succeeded byAdam Gregg
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 48th district
In office
January 11, 2009 – November 12, 2010
Preceded byJeff Angelo
Succeeded byJoni Ernst
Personal details
Kimberly Kay Strawn

(1959-08-04) August 4, 1959 (age 59)
St. Charles, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Kevin Reynolds (m. 1982)
ResidenceTerrace Hill

Reynolds became Governor of Iowa in May 2017 when her predecessor, Terry Branstad, stepped down to become United States Ambassador to China. In May 2018, Reynolds signed a bill that scaled back energy efficiency programs and a bill that the Des Moines Register referred to as "the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation."

Reynolds won a full term as governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.


Early life, education and familyEdit

Reynolds with husband Kevin Reynolds in 2010

Reynolds was born Kimberly Kay Strawn in St. Charles, Iowa. She attended high school at the Interstate 35 Community School District and graduated in 1977.[1]

Strawn attended Northwest Missouri State University, where she took classes in business, consumer sciences and clothing sales and design between 1977 and 1980. She later took classes at Southeastern Community College in the late 1980s, and then took accounting classes at Southwestern Community College between 1992 and 1995. She did not earn a degree from any of these institutions.[2] In 2016, Reynolds received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Iowa State University.[3]

Reynolds was twice charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, first in 1999 and again in 2000.[4] The 2000 case was originally charged as a Second Offense OWI, but eventually reduced to First Offense OWI. Reynolds was sentenced to pay a $1,500 fine and serve 12 months of informal probation. A related open container charge was dropped entirely.[5] In 2017, Reynolds stated that she sought inpatient treatment for alcoholism following her second arrest and that she had been sober for nearly 17 years.[6]

Reynolds married Kevin Reynolds in 1982. As of 2018, the Reynoldses have three daughters (Jennifer, Nicole and Jessica)[7] and nine grandchildren.[8]

Iowa SenateEdit

Reynolds during her time in the Iowa Senate

Reynolds served four terms as the Clarke County Treasurer before being elected on November 4, 2008 to represent the 48th district in the Iowa Senate, defeating Ruth Smith (D) and Rodney Schmidt (I).[9] In the Senate, she was a member of five committees: Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, Local Government (ranking member), Rebuild Iowa, Transportation, and Appropriations Subcommittee (Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee). In 2010, Reynolds endorsed a ban on same-sex marriage in Iowa.[10]

Lieutenant Governor of IowaEdit

On June 25, 2010, Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad publicly proposed Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor. The next day, she received the Republican nomination from the 2010 Republican State Convention. On November 2, 2010, the Branstad/Reynolds ticket won the general election.[11][12] Reynolds resigned from her Senate seat on November 12, 2010 to "focus solely on assisting Gov. (Terry) Branstad’s transition team."[13]

Reynolds was the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 2011 until 2017.[14] Unlike Lieutenant Governors in many other states, Reynolds had specific roles, including co-chairing the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, co-chairing the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board, co-chairing the Military Children Education Coalition and serving as Gov. Branstad's representative on the board of the Iowa State Fair.[15]

Reynolds was elected Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) in July 2015.[16]

Branstad and Reynolds after the Cedar River floods of 2016

Governor of IowaEdit


On May 24, 2017, Reynolds became governor of Iowa upon the resignation of Governor Terry Branstad, who stepped down to become the new United States Ambassador to China. Reynolds is the first female governor of Iowa.[17]

Reynolds's elevation to the governorship created a vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor, and reports indicated that her selection of a lieutenant governor could be challenged in the Supreme Court of Iowa.[18] An opinion from the Iowa attorney general indicated that "an individual promoted from lieutenant governor to governor, as was Reynolds, [did] not have the authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor.[19] On May 25, 2017, Reynolds announced that Iowa Public Defender Adam Gregg would serve as acting lieutenant governor; to avoid litigation, the Reynolds administration stated that Gregg "[would] not hold the official position of lieutenant governor" and would not succeed Reynolds in the event of her inability to serve as governor.[20]

In 2018, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), Reynolds described same-sex marriage as a "settled" issue and said that she did not consider herself obligated to follow the Iowa Republican Party platform provision against same-sex marriage.[21][22]

Reynolds acknowledged that Trump's trade and tariff policies were hurting farmers, but said she believed that farmers would benefit on them in the end.[23][24][25]

In May 2018, Reynolds signed a bill to revamp Iowa's energy efficiency policies.[26] Also in May 2018, Reynolds signed a fetal heartbeat bill that the Des Moines Register referred to as "the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation."[27] In January 2019, the law was struck down by an Iowa state judge, who said it was unconstitutional.[28]

Reynolds began her first full term on January 18, 2019.

On March 27, 2019, Reynolds signed a bill into law requiring public universities to protect the "fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression."[29][30]

Through her judicial appointments, Reynolds shifted the Iowa Supreme Court in a conservative direction.[31]

Electoral historyEdit

Iowa Senate historyEdit

2008 primaryEdit

Iowa State Senate District 48 Republican primary election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kim Reynolds 2,487 61.77
Republican Jim Parker 1,539 38.23

2008 general electionEdit

Iowa State Senate District 48 general election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kim Reynolds 14,274 52.97
Democratic Ruth Smith 11,653 43.24
Independent Rodney Schmidt 1,021 3.79

Gubernatorial electionsEdit


Iowa gubernatorial election, 2010[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Terry Branstad / Kim Reynolds 589,828 52.86% +8.2%
Democratic Chet Culver / Patty Judge (incumbents) 481,590 43.16% -10.8%
Majority 108,238 9.7%
Turnout 1,047,714
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Party Terry Branstad / Kim Reynolds (incumbents) 666,032 58.99
Democratic Party Jack Hatch / Monica Vernon 420,787 37.27
Libertarian Party Lee Deakins Hieb / Tim Watson 20,321 1.80
New Independent Party Iowa Jim Hennager / Mary Margaret Krieg 10,582 0.94
Iowa Party Jonathan Narcisse / Michael Richards 10,240 0.91
Write-ins Write-ins 1,095 0.10


In June 2017, Reynolds stated that she would seek a full term as Governor of Iowa in the 2018 election.[33]

Reynolds' decision to have Rep. Steve King co-chair her campaign stirred controversy, as King has a history of remarks that have been described as racist.[34] The Des Moines Register editorial board wrote, "Gov. Kim Reynolds has kept him on as her campaign co-chairman, while muttering increasingly thin-lipped denials that she agrees with his ideological extremism."[35] Reynolds had previously praised King, saying he was "a strong defender of freedom and our conservative values."[36] After Election Day, Reynolds criticized King and said that he needed to change his approach.[37]

Reynolds won the Republican nomination for Governor and defeated Democrat Fred Hubbell and Libertarian Jake Porter in the general election on November 6, 2018.[38] Reynolds made history as the first woman elected Governor of Iowa.[39] While polls showed that she was trailing Hubbell,[40] she defeated him, 50.4%-47.4%.[41]

Iowa gubernatorial election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kim Reynolds (incumbent) 667,275 50.26% -8.73%
Democratic Fred Hubbell 630,986 47.53% +10.26%
Libertarian Jake Porter 21,426 1.61% -0.19%
Independent Gary Siegwarth 7,463 0.56% N/A
n/a Write-ins 488 0.04% -0.05%
Total votes 1,327,638 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Noble, Jason (January 12, 2017). "How Kim Reynolds ascended to Iowa's governorship". Des Moines Register. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Kim Reynolds high school graduate looking for work - Daily Times Herald". Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds graduates from Iowa State, Des Moines Register, Molly Longman, December 17, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Young, Aaron (January 12, 2017). "Incoming governor wants to be an example for those with alcohol addiction". Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Iowa Criminal Case Number 05911 OWOM016618 (WARREN). Accessed May 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Alberta, Tim (June 29, 2017). "The Governor of Trump's America". Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Leu, Jon (December 8, 2016). "Reynolds set to become Iowa's first female governor". The Daily Nonpareil. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  8. ^ "About the First Gentleman". Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Election Results & Statistics". Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  10. ^ Josh Nelson (August 7, 2018). "Lt. governor candidate Kim Reynolds endorses gay marriage ban in Waterloo speech". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Bureau, ROD BOSHART, Lee-Gazette Des Moines. "Terry Branstad 'ready to lead the charge' as Iowa's governor". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.
  13. ^ Wilson, Kyle (November 15, 2010). "Reynolds resigns, Culver to set special election". Creston News Advertiser. Shaw Media. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  14. ^ "About the Lt. Governor". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. June 6, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  15. ^ "How Successful Are Lieutenant Governors Seeking the Governorship?". Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "Reynolds named chair of NLGA". The Iowa Statesman. July 10, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  17. ^ Rodriguez, Barbara; Beaumont, Thomas (May 24, 2017). "Kim Reynolds sworn in as Iowa's 1st female governor". Seattle Times. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  18. ^ "Sources Confirm Adam Gregg Set to Become Governor Reynolds' New Lt. Governor". May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  19. ^ Murphy, Erin. "Reynolds to make Gregg 'acting' lieutenant governor". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  20. ^ Murphy, Erin. "Reynolds to make Gregg 'acting' lieutenant governor". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  21. ^ William Petroski (June 12, 2018). "Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says same-sex marriage issue settled; doesn't have to abide by GOP platform". Des Moines Register.
  22. ^ Russell, Joyce. "Reynolds on Cutting Energy Efficiency: 'It's a Balance'". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  23. ^ "Reynolds, Hubbell spar over tariffs, sexual harassment". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  24. ^ "Reynolds says Trump may help Iowa farmers hurt by trade tariffs". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "Iowa farmers' angst grows as tariffs mount. But many still back Trump and his allies ... for now". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  26. ^ Press, The Associated. "Reynolds signs bill overhauling energy efficiency policies".
  27. ^ "The nation's strictest abortion ban is now law. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs 'fetal heartbeat' bill". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  28. ^ CNN, Eric Levenson and Marlena Baldacci. "Iowa's 'fetal heartbeat' abortion restriction declared unconstitutional". CNN. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  29. ^ Gruber-Miller, Stephen; Breaux, Aimee (March 27, 2019). "Kim Reynolds signs bill requiring Iowa universities to respect 'free speech' on campus". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "Iowa governor signs campus free speech legislation". Associated Press. March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  31. ^ Pitt, David (July 3, 2019). "Iowa Supreme Court takes a right turn under Gov. Reynolds". Associated Press. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  32. ^ "2010 Gubernatorial General Election Results-Iowa". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  33. ^ "Kim Reynolds acknowledges plan to seek full term in 2018".
  34. ^ "Iowa Gov. Reynolds will keep Steve King as campaign co-chair". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  35. ^ "GOP can't keep shrugging as Rep. Steve King, President Trump pander to white nationalists". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  36. ^ Bureau, Rod Boshart Times. "Reynolds rebuts Hubbell's call to reproach U.S. Rep. Steve King". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  37. ^ "Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds bluntly tells Steve King to decide future amid racism allegations". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  38. ^ "Reynolds Prevails Against Hubbell in Tight Gubernatorial Race". November 7, 2018.
  39. ^ Kirkpatrick, Alex (November 7, 2018). "Iowa voters officially elect first female governor". KCCI.
  40. ^ "In Danger Of Losing, Iowa Governor Enlists Republican Heavy Hitters Ahead Of Midterms".
  41. ^ "Iowa Governor Election Results 2018: Live Midterm Map by County & Analysis".

External linksEdit

Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Jeff Angelo
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 48th district

Succeeded by
Joni Ernst
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bob Vander Plaats
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
2010, 2014
Succeeded by
Adam Gregg
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Republican nominee for Governor of Iowa
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Patty Judge
Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
Succeeded by
Adam Gregg
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Governor of Iowa
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Iowa
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Greg Abbott
as Governor of Texas
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Iowa
Succeeded by
Tony Evers
as Governor of Wisconsin