Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Gov. Kim Reynolds holds on to seat in Iowa's midterm elections

Kim reynolds

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a campaign event on Oct. 31, 2020, in Davenport, Iowa. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was re-elected Tuesday night — defeating Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Reynolds' campaign primarily focused on her record as governor and how she handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Her win is an affirmation that her Republican supporters, as well as independents, approve of her work.

State of play: Reynolds, who's served as governor since 2017, campaigned on her decision to reopen Iowa schools and give parents "choice" over their children's education.

  • She also touted reducing Iowa's income tax to a flat 4% and eliminating retirement income tax altogether.

Yes, but: Beyond her policy decisions, Reynolds seized on national Republican cultural points, like addressing transgender rights in her last ad, saying "Iowans still know ... boys from girls."

The other side: Throughout the campaign cycle, DeJear struggled with name recognition, especially among independents, according to the Register.

  • Her campaign focused on investing more money into Iowa's public education and child care programs, as well as protecting legal abortions in the state.
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