Capital Clicks

Iowa Senate Republicans fill out leadership team

By: - December 5, 2022 3:55 pm

State Sen. Brad Zaun of Urbandale, left, has been reelected president pro tempore by his fellow Senate Republicans. He shown here speaking to Matthew Bruce at the Capitol in June 2020. (Photo by Linh Ta/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa Republicans announced the remainder of the state Senate leadership team Monday as the party prepares for its first session in decades holding a supermajority.

State Sen. Waylon Brown is a Republican from Osage. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Legislature)

Iowa Senate Republicans reelected Sen. Brad Zaun of Urbandale as president pro tempore, according to a news release. Sen. Waylon Brown of Osage, who previously served as an assistant majority leader, will take over from Sen. Amy Sinclair of Allerton as majority whip.

Sinclair was elected Senate president in November following the 2022 midterms, when former Senate President Jake Chapman lost his reelection bid to Democratic state Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott. Trone Garriott, of West Des Moines, will serve as the Senate Democratic whip in the upcoming legislative session.

While Chapman’s loss was a win for Democrats, Republicans fared much better overall in the election. The party expanded its numbers heading into 2023, gaining two additional seats to secure a 34-seat supermajority. With the GOP holding a two-thirds majority, Democrats will no longer be able to block Gov. Kim Reynolds’ appointments to state agencies, boards and commissions.

The GOP senators now represent at least a portion of each of Iowa’s 99 counties, according to the release. In addition to electing Zaun and Brown, Senate Republicans also reelected Sens. Chris Cournoyer and Carrie Koelker as assistant majority leaders, and added Sens. Mike Klimesh and Jeff Reichman to the team. Majority Leader Jack Whitver will also keep his position in the upcoming session.

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.