Chairman Jeff Kaufmann served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2005 to 2013, including six years in leadership positions in the GOP caucus and two years as Speaker Pro Tem. During his tenure in the Iowa House, he developed a record as a fiscal conservative, Second Amendment defender and a tireless advocate of property rights. Kaufmann represented a competitive district and built a reputation as a consensus problem-solver and constituent advocate. During half of his time in the legislature, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in his district, and Kaufmann maintained working relationships across the aisle.
Kaufmann served eight years on the Ways and Means Committee, and he authored a key anti-eminent domain bill that culminated in a landmark conservative victory overriding a veto by former Democrat Gov. Tom Vilsack. As an Assistant Republican Leader and Speaker Pro Tem, Kaufmann worked with his colleagues to turn around the state’s fiscal house after financial mismanagement by the administration of former Democrat Gov. Chet Culver.
As a member of the House leadership team, Kaufmann engaged in candidate recruitment, raised more than $500,000 for candidates and spoke at events across the state for more than 70 candidates. In 2010, Kaufmann was part of the campaign leadership team that helped elect 60 House Republicans to the chamber.
Kaufmann, 51, is a seventh-generation livestock farmer. He is a department chair at Muscatine Community College, where he teaches history and government. Kaufmann has a 4.8 A+ score on ratemyprofessors.com. In 2012, Kaufmann was honored as Iowa’s faculty member of the year by the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. He obtained his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.
Prior to his legislative career, Kaufmann was a Township Trustee and president of the Wilton School Board. Currently, he is a member of the Cedar County Board of Supervisors.
Jeff and his wife, Vicki, have been married for 29 years. They raised three sons: Bobby, a state representative in House District 73; Jacob, a University of Iowa student; and John, a University of Iowa student and chairman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.