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Reynolds, Kim

Published onOct 14, 2021
Reynolds, Kim

(August 4, 1959 - )

Quick Facts

Kim Reynolds is a long-time politician and current governor of Iowa .


Kimberly Kay Reynolds, Iowa’s first elected female governor, has dedicated her life to serving the people of Iowa. Reynolds, a fifth-generation Iowan, was born in Truro, Iowa and raised in St. Charles, Iowa to a working-class family. She worked as a waitress at Younkers and as a checker at Hy-Vee grocery chain growing up, and she credits these working experiences to her dedication to creating good jobs for Iowans.1 Reynolds had a long path to earning a bachelor’s degree, but she never gave up her dream of graduating. In 1977, she attended Northwest Missouri State University dropping out after one semester. Then, in the late 1980s, she took classes at Southeastern Community College, and from 1992 to 1995, she took accounting classes at Southwestern Community College eventually leaving both institutions. In 2016, she achieved her goal of graduating college when she earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies at the age of 57 at Iowa State University.2

Reynolds was elected the Clarke County Treasurer in 1994 and served four terms. In 2008, she ran for the Iowa State Senate and won a senate seat representing the 48th Iowa district, which is the largest geographical senate district in the state.3 Reynolds served in the Iowa State Senate from 2009 to 2010, where she served on five committees: Local Government; Economic Growth, Environment, and Energy Independence; Rebuild Iowa; Transportation; and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.4 In June 2010, Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad proposed Reynolds to be his Lieutenant (Lt.) Governor, and in November, the Branstad/Reynolds ticket won the election for Iowa Governor and Lt. Governor. Upon their election, Reynolds resigned her seat in the Iowa State Senate, and she served as the Lt. Governor from 2011 through 2017. In this position, Reynolds was selected to be the chairwoman of the National Lt. Governors Association, where “she led nationwide discussions on policy, economic development, and issues affecting states across the country.”5

In December 2016, Governor Branstad was selected by then U.S. President Donald Trump to be the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. With Branstad’s confirmation to the ambassador position and subsequent resignation of the Iowa governor position, Reynolds became the first female governor of Iowa on May 24, 2017.6 Upon her rise to the governor position, Reynolds selected Iowa Public Defender Adam Gregg as acting lieutenant governor. Reynolds announced in June 2017 her intention to seek a full term as governor. She received the Republican nomination and on November 6, 2018, she defeated Fred Hubbell (D) to become Iowa’s first female elected governor.7

Reynolds states that “her top priorities as governor are creating good-paying jobs, cutting taxes, investing in public schools and increasing opportunity in every part of Iowa.”8 Additionally, Reynolds works tirelessly to ensure that Iowa remains at the forefront of STEM education in the public school system from elementary to high schools. She helps to lead the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council that former Governor Branstad created in July of 2011 to expand upon the already established STEM Council.9 The governor’s advisory council is led by Reynolds and Accumold President and CEO Roger Hardens and “is made up of leaders in higher education, business, Pre-K through 12 educators, as well as state and local government officials.”10

From 2020 through 2021 Reynolds has lead the state’s response to the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic.

Reynolds married Kevin Reynolds on April 3, 1982 after having met in high school. Together they have three daughters, Jennifer, Nicole, and Jessica, and ten grandchildren.11 Her and her husband currently reside at Terrace Hill, which is the Iowa’s Governor Mansion in Des Moines, Iowa.

Selected Sources

“Governor Kim Reynolds.” LinkedIn. 2018.

Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. 2018.

“Kim Reynolds.” Iowa State University Archives of Women’s Political Communication. 2018.

Kim Reynolds Governor. 2018.

Office of the Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds. 2018.

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