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DES MOINES — After spending the past nine years in leadership, including four as speaker of the Iowa House, Linda Upmeyer thought stepping down might be bittersweet.

“I’m like not feeling it,” she said Monday moments before the 2020 session of the Legislature got underway. “I thought I might feel regretful. Not yet.”

Upmeyer announced in September she would step down as speaker and not seek a 10th term this year. She formally resigned Monday, making way for the election of New Hartford Republican Pat Grassley as speaker for the remainder of the session.

She called her three sessions as speaker a “tremendous honor” and expressed pride in what the GOP-controlled House has accomplished.

Upmeyer still has some ideas she would like to see become law and pledged her support to Grassley and new House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley.

“I’ll try very hard not to give unwanted advice, but be available if they need anything,” she said. “If they ever need help counting 51, I’m here.”

Although she has enjoyed her time as speaker, Upmeyer said she is looking forward to some relief from the time commitments it involved.

“It feels nice not to be figuring out how to schedule all the things that you need to be attending,” she said. “Now, in the morning, the first thing I’ll do is decide where to have lunch.”

Always a conservative, Upmeyer plans to continue to use her “Madam Speaker” note cards “because they are too expensive to throw away.

Pat Grassley becomes Speaker of the House

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