Republican Kim Reynolds Becomes First Woman Elected Governor Of Iowa

Chuck Ross | Reporter

Iowa’s first female governor will remain in office after defeating Democratic businessman Fred Hubbell in a close contest on Tuesday.

Kim Reynolds had 50 percent of the vote against her challenger, businessman Fred Hubbell, when the Associated Press called the race.

Reynolds has served as governor since May 2017, when she replaced Terry Branstad, who joined the Trump administration as ambassador to China. (RELATED: Iowa Governor: ‘We Are No. 1’ At Life)

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Romney at Hotel Fort Des Moines in Des Moines

Kim Reynolds, then the lieutenant governor of Iowa, speaks at a political rally in Des Moines, Iowa May 15, 2012. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

Hubbell ran a campaign largely centered on reversing Branstad’s decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid system. Reynolds was lieutenant governor at the time.

Reynolds has supported privatization, saying that it will save money for taxpayers. But she has acknowledged that “mistakes” were made in the shift to private contractors. Hubbell, the former CEO of an insurance company founded by his family, promised to return the Medicaid system to state control if elected.

Either outcome on Tuesday would have been in line with Iowa’s status as a battleground state.

President Donald Trump won Iowa in 2016 by a 9.5-point margin. Former President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by nearly six points in 2012.

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