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Reynolds elected 2023 Republican Governors Association chair

By: - November 17, 2022 2:42 pm

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will chair the Republican Governors Association. (Photo by Katie Akin/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Members of the Republican Governors Association unanimously elected Gov. Kim Reynolds as chair for the 2023 cycle during the organization’s annual conference this week.

Reynolds will take over for current co-chairs Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, with whom she worked as vice chair during the last cycle. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will serve as vice chair in 2023.

“Last week, we saw Republican incumbent governors resoundingly reelected across the country as voters chose another term of lower taxes, more jobs, backing the blue, and keeping parents in their child’s education,” Reynolds said in an RGA news release. “… I’m honored my colleagues have trusted me to lead the RGA as we work to ensure voters in Louisiana and Kentucky are given that same chance at a better future and Mississippi gives Governor Tate Reeves the second term he’s earned.”

Another Iowan, Reynolds’ former chief of staff Sara Craig Gongol, is also taking a top role in the organization. Gongol will serve a four-year term as RGA’s executive director starting in January, after working as a general counsel to the governor at the RGA when she was vice chair.

The announcement comes as Republicans debate how to move forward following a weak showing during this year’s midterm elections. While Reynolds cruised to reelection with the support of former President Donald Trump, who announced his third bid for the White House Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received a standing ovation at the RGA meeting for a speech blaming Trump for GOP losses in recent elections.

At the conference, the organization also announced members of its executive committee, which include Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Greg Abbott of Texas, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Greg Gianforte of Montana, and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves will serve as policy chairman.

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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.

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