DES MOINES — Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake closed out her tenure as Speaker of the Iowa House Monday morning.
Last fall, Upmeyer announced she would not seek re-election to the House in November of 2020 and would immediately step down as the leader of House Republicans for the 2020 legislative session. In October, House Republicans selected Pat Grassley as Upmeyer’s successor and he was installed after a vote in the full House Monday morning.
Upmeyer, though, was able to give one last speech from the speaker’s chair. “As the first woman to serve as speaker of the Iowa House, I hope that my time has inspired girls and young women,” Upmeyer said. “When you dream big and work hard, nothing is unattainable.”
Upmeyer’s late father, Del Stromer of Garner, was speaker of the Iowa House in the early 1980s. “Someday, God willing, I’ll have an opportunity to have a discussion with my dad. I’m sure he will be very proud of what we’ve accomplished on behalf of Iowans,” Upmeyer says. “I’m also sure that there will be a couple of things where he’ll say: ‘Girl, what were you thinking?’”
Upmeyer, who is still a voting member of the House in 2020, told reporters she hasn’t lost any sleep about her decision to resign as House speaker. “From time to time I’ll think of a bill, perhaps, that I was interested in and say: ‘Oh, we didn’t get that passed,’” Upmeyer said, snapping her fingers. “But, you know, I still have this year.”
Upmeyer says it feels nice to have a reduced workload now that she’s not in charge of raising money and recruiting candidates for House races. “I traded cars because I wouldn’t have to put 25,000 miles on my car every year,” Upmeyer told reporters Monday.
Upmeyer is completing her tenth term in the Iowa House.