President-elect Donald Trump has offered Iowa Governor Terry Branstad an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to China.
An aide to Trump confirmed the offer and Branstad is expected to accept. If that happens and Branstad's appointment is accepted by the Senate, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds would become Iowa Governor. She would hold the office until Branstad's term ends in January 2019. Reynolds would become Iowa's first female Governor.
Branstad is currently the nation's longest serving Governor.
The Iowa Republican Party released the following statement: "I commend President-Elect Donald Trump for his decision to appoint Governor Terry Branstad as America's ambassador to China," stated Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. "Over the decades as Governor, Terry Branstad has forged a unique and lasting relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is immensely qualified to strengthen the United States' relationship with China and to promote economic prosperity and cultural understanding between the two nations. On a personal note, it is an honor to call Governor Terry Branstad a dear friend, and I wish him the very best in this future endeavor."
Additionally, Co-Chairman Cody Hoefert stated, "While Iowans will certainly miss Governor Branstad and his extraordinary service and leadership in this state, all Americans are incredibly fortunate to have the Governor serve in this critical leadership position."