Branstad says he may remain Iowa governor for weeks, months

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Trump has named Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the U.S. ambassador to China (MGN)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It may be weeks or even months before Gov. Terry Branstad’s nearly 22-year tenure leading Iowa ends.

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Branstad as ambassador to China, but the governor told reporters Monday that he hasn’t received paperwork to begin the Senate confirmation process, and it could take several weeks for his nomination to be reviewed. He plans to remain governor until he’s confirmed as ambassador.

That means it will be some time before Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds becomes Iowa’s first female governor.

Branstad says he’ll make budget recommendations to the Legislature and will deliver a key speech to lawmakers in January.

Republicans will have control of both the Senate and House this session, so whoever serves as governor will have the opportunity to make sweeping changes in state policy.