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DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds will be sworn into office for a four-year term this morning and, weather willing, celebrate with two inaugural balls tonight.

“We will get sworn in and go have a party, go have a ball,” the governor said Thursday morning at the Capitol.

She will be sworn in at 9 a.m. in the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center before hosting an open house at Terrace Hill at noon and a reception in the Capitol rotunda at 2 p.m.

The activities started Thursday night with a worship service at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, “which is, honestly, one of my favorite parts of the ceremony,” Reynolds said.

She’s hoping the weather — a winter storm is forecast for most of Iowa — won’t interfere with the celebration of her inauguration as the first woman to be elected Iowa governor.

“We’re in Iowa, so we’re hardy,” she said. “If I bought a dress, shoes and was ready to go, I’d probably do everything I could, while being safe, to get to the ball. So hopefully it won’t be too bad, and we’ll have a good turnout.”

Reynolds’ election and inauguration mark a milestone for Iowa women, said former state Sen. Maggie Tinsman, a Bettendorf Republican who is a co-founder of 50/50 in 2020. The goal is for women to be hold 50 percent of the elected offices in Iowa in 2020.

“We are very, very excited to have a female governor,” said Tinsman, who was at the Capitol on Thursday.

Reynolds, she said, has broken the “glass ceiling” for women in Iowa politics.

“Now we have one female U.S. senator and two female congresswomen and now we just need to get 16 more (Iowa) House members and 14 more senators so we can be 50-50,” Tinsman said.

Reynolds’ progress from local elected official to the Legislature to lieutenant governor and now governor “sets a big example.”

“You’re the top leader for the state,” Tinsman said. “And when you have the top leader be a female, other women think ‘maybe I could do that.’

“So I think, all right, women, you have to realize that you can do this job. You can be a politician,” she continued. “In fact, I’ve told people I would like to change the word politics or the definition to women’s business because women know how to bring people together and solve the problem. That’s what politics is, problem-solving.”

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Statehouse reporter for The Courier

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