Lieutenant Governor makes pitch for line-of-succession amendment to Iowa Constitution

DES MOINES — Adam Gregg, Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor, is urging Iowans to vote for a proposed amendment to Iowa’s Constitution.

“You might remember, back when Governor Reynolds ascended, there was a dispute about whether she could appoint a new lieutenant governor,” Gregg said to delegates at the Iowa GOP’s state convention on Saturday. “There’s a constitutional amendment that’s going to be on the ballot in November that’s going to clarify that.”

Reynolds was sworn in as governor in mid-2017 after long-time Governor Terry Branstad resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to China. Tom Miller, who was Iowa’s attorney general at the time, issued an opinion saying Reynolds — who was lieutenant governor — did not have the authority under the state’s constitution to pick a successor in mid-2017. Reynolds said she disagreed with the attorney general’s assessment and picked Gregg to take the role of lieutenant governor. The proposed amendment makes it clear governors have that authority.

“I think it’s important for good government that we have absolute clarity on the line of succession here in Iowa,” Gregg said.

Gregg is Iowa’s 47th lieutenant governor. The state’s lieutenant governors used to be elected independently, but after the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1988, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor have been running together as a team, just like presidents and vice presidents.