Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen says will step down from his leadership position in January, and serve his last year in the state assembly as a rank-and-file member. The Hiawatha Republican says he will not seek a seventh term .
Paulsen says he believes it’s "just the right time" for him personally to resign from the speakership. And also he says it’s important to set up the next speaker for success.
"I think part of that is making sure whoever my is my successor, has ti me to put together a house agenda for next year, and has time to, on the political side, to put together a political campaign map," says Paulsen.
Paulsen is supporting Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake as his successor. She would be the first woman to speaker of the Iowa House. A date for leadership selection will likely occur in the coming weeks.
When asked, Paulsen denied that the lengthy 2015 session or difficulties of a divided legislature were contributing factors.
"I see all those things as just business," says Paulsen. "I think that this majority caucus and the Senate Democrat majority caucus has worked hard to try to work towards an end that serves Iowans...Sometimes that took longer than you wanted. We all have our, I guess frustrations as you move through that. But no, there's no single or one thing."
Paulsen works part time as an attorney for CRST International, a trucking company based in Cedar Rapids. He and his wife Cathy have four children in their 20s and one grandchild.