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Jake Chapman in new role as Iowa Senate President, could be eyeing run for Congress

DES MOINES — A Republican from Adel is entering his seventh week in a new role in the Iowa Legislature, but his name could be on the ballot for another office next year.

Thirty-six-year-old Jake Chapman was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2012. After the 2020 election, Chapman’s GOP colleagues in the Senate selected him to be president of the Iowa Senate, the person who recognizes colleagues to speak during debate and makes parliamentary rulings. His first floor speech noted the 175th anniversary of Iowa statehood is approaching in December.

“May we always remember and maintain our rights as a state against an ever increasingly centralization of power exerted by the federal government,” Chapman said.

Chapman said his ancestors were among Iowa’s earliest settlers and a great-great-great uncle was a member of the Seventh Iowa General Assembly, the first to meet in Des Moines.

“I am honored to continue the legacy of our family,” Chapman said. “…Iowans have always been willing to sacrifice for current and future generations.”

As president of the Iowa Senate in the 89th General Assembly, Chapman said the number of meetings on his calendar have skyrocketed — some are on Zoom, of course.

“With Covid and everything that has come down, some procedures have changed,” Chapman said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “We don’t see as many people (at the Capitol) as what we have in the past, but the policy remains the same.”

Chapman has championed tax cuts and a few years ago took the lead in the senate on legalizing fireworks. This year he’s focused on the effort to amend Iowa’s constitution to say it does not confer the right to an abortion. On Friday, Chapman announced he’s the lead sponsor of a bill that would withdraw tax breaks and government incentives for Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google if a court rules the companies have violated free speech rights by blocking conservatives from social media.

Two of the state senators Chapman served with last year — Randy Feenstra and Mariannette Miller-Meeks — are now members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chapman isn’t ruling out his own run for congress in 2022.

“I am focused right now on my role as president of the senate,” Chapman said. “I’m enjoying that, but we’ll see what comes out of redistricting and how things look and where I feel I can be the most effective in representing Iowans.”

Chapman’s Adel home is in Iowa’s current third congressional district, represented today by Democrat Cindy Axne, but district lines will change for the 2022 election. Chapman told Radio Iowa that if he chooses to run, it will be over frustration with the gridlock in congress.

“Being in DC itself is not necessarily appealing, but being able to serve Iowans in the best capacity is what I will always do,” Chapman said.

Chapman is an EMT and the chief operating officer of his family’s Des Moines-based ambulance service.

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