Iowa Gov. Reynolds named to lead Republican governors group

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was elected Wednesday to lead the Republican Governors Association as she increases her national political profile days after easily winning a second term as governor.

Reynolds' election as chairwoman of the group will put her in charge of raising money in 2023 for the Republican governors’ largest fundraising organization. Governor races next year include Kentucky and Louisiana, now held by Democrats, and Mississippi.

Reynolds served as vice-chair of the association in 2022, and her new role will give her a larger national presence. It follows her selection to give the Republican televised response last March to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

In the past, Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Chris Christie have used the role heading the governors' association to sow party goodwill and broaden their donor network as they planned presidential campaigns.

Reynolds hasn't indicated interest in running for president.

The vote for Reynolds to chair the RGA came in Florida, a day after former President Donald Trump announced his plans for another run for the White House. Some speakers at the organization's meeting cast doubt on whether Trump's campaign would succeed.

Reynolds has been a strong supporter of Trump and appeared with him at a rally Nov. 3 in Sioux City, Iowa.

There were 36 governor races on the ballot this year. Democrats won back governorships in Maryland, Massachusetts and Arizona, and held on in swing states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republican Joe Lombardo beat incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak in battleground Nevada, while Republican governors won easily in Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

The Associated Press