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Final vote on Branstad's nomination as U.S. Ambassador to China on Monday

MGN Online

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on Governor Terry Branstad's confirmation as the next U.S. Ambassador to China on Monday afternoon.

He's expected to resign shortly after to take on the new role and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is set to become Iowa's first female governor.

Former communications director for Branstad, Tim Albrecht, said the mentality the Governor will have to have is a characteristic he already shows in his work in Iowa.

"He'll deal with a number of contentious issues and he'll bring all parties to the table to do so,"" Albrecht said.

Governor Branstad just oversaw a GOP-controlled legislature, but during much of his time leading Iowa, that wasn't the makeup of the statehouse.

"For 20 of those years, Democrats actually controlled either the House or the Senate so he's had to deal in a bipartisan way and negotiate to cut those deals," Albrecht said.

Experts say he'll be a critical voice, during a challenging time.

"The Governor, as he recognizes, has a steep learning curve on a range of issues and relations with China," Neil Hamilton, director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake Law School, said. "Not just on trade, but across the whole spectrum of international affairs."

"Iowa has always played a fairly ambitious role in terms of citizen diplomacy in relations with China and other countries, so it's not that this is something new to him, but it''s not just leading a trade delegation to sell more soybeans," Hamilton said.

Albrecht said from what he's witnessed in the Governor's work, he's prepared for this challenge.

"What I've learned from Terry Branstad is that everybody matters," he said. "Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and you work hard."

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