|Iowa Governor Terry Branstad speaking in Des Moines, Iowa on April 1, 2011|
|42nd Governor of Iowa|
January 14, 2011
|Preceded by||Chet Culver|
|39th Governor of Iowa|
January 14, 1983 – January 15, 1999
Jo Ann Zimmerman
|Preceded by||Robert Ray|
|Succeeded by||Tom Vilsack|
|41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa|
January 12, 1979 – January 14, 1983
|Preceded by||Arthur A. Neu|
|Succeeded by||Robert Anderson|
|Born||Terry Edward Branstad
November 17, 1946
Leland, Iowa, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Christine Anne "Chris" (Johnson) Branstad|
|Residence||Terrace Hill (official)
Boone, Iowa (personal)
|Alma mater||University of Iowa
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1969–1971|
|Unit||503rd Military Police Battalion|
|Awards||Army Commendation Medal|
Terry Edward Branstad (born November 17, 1946) is an American politician who is the 42nd Governor of Iowa, in office since January 2011. Branstad was also the 39th Governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999, and he was President of Des Moines University from 2003 to 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. Branstad is the longest-serving governor in Iowa history, and based on his victory in the 2014 elections, may become the longest serving governor in US history as well, should he complete a year and several days of his sixth term in office.
In his 2010 political comeback, Branstad won a three-way primary election for the Republican nomination to run for governor in the general election. He faced incumbent Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, and four third party candidates on November 2, 2010. He won the general election in November, defeating Culver by 52.9% to 43.1%.
Branstad entered the 2010 race as the front runner for both the primary and general elections. Independent polling in 2009 indicated that his approval ratings hovered in the 70% range. He was widely seen as the front runner for the Republican nomination, and had wide leads in aggregate polling against the scandal-ravaged Governor Culver. He won the Republican primary with 50.4% of the popular vote, 9.5 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor.
In the election on November 4, 2014, Branstad was elected to an unprecedented sixth four-year term as Iowa governor, which may make him the longest-serving governor in U.S. history in 2016 (breaking the record held by George Clinton of New York, who served 21 years from 1777 to 1795, and from 1801 to 1804).
Branstad was born in Leland, Iowa, to Rita L. (Garland) and Edward Arnold Branstad, a farmer. His mother was Jewish, while his father was from a Norwegian American Lutheran family; Branstad himself was raised Lutheran, and later converted to Catholicism. Branstad received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Drake University Law School. After getting his undergraduate degree, he was drafted and served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971, serving as an military policeman in the 503rd Military Police Battalion at Fort Bragg, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service; he once recalled that he arrested actress Jane Fonda for coming onto post at Arlington National Cemetery, where she was planning to attend an anti-war protest. In 1989, he was named an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Iowa State University.
Early political career
Governor of Iowa (1983–1999)
When elected governor at age 36, Branstad was the youngest chief executive in Iowa's history and when he left office, was Iowa's longest-serving governor. He served as Chair of the National Governors Association during 1989–1990, and was Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association. In 1997, he chaired the Education Commission of the States, the Republican Governors Association, and the Governors' Ethanol Coalition.
In 1983, he vetoed a bill that would allow a state lottery. In 1991, Branstad ignored binding arbitration with employees of the State of Iowa's labor unions by vetoing a salary bill, was taken to court, and lost later in appeals in the state court system (AFSCME Iowa Council 61 et al., v. Branstad).
Iowa’s unemployment rate went from 8.5% when he took office to a record low 2.5% by the time he left office in 1999. In his first year as governor, the state budget had a $90 million deficit. It took several years until the budget was balanced. He claimed that he did not have enough support in the legislature to approve budget reforms until 1992. By 1999, Iowa had an unprecedented $900 million budget surplus.
Branstad focused most of his efforts on endeavors outside of politics when he left office at the beginning of 1999. He founded Branstad and Associates, LLC and was also a partner in the firm of Kaufman, Pattee, Branstad & Miller, and a financial advisor for Robert W. Baird and Co.
In August 2003, Branstad accepted an offer from Des Moines University to become its president. On October 16, 2009, he announced his retirement from Des Moines University in order to run again for governor.
Branstad was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Commission for Excellence in Special Education. The commission was charged with developing a plan to improve the educational performance of students with disabilities. After completing his work with the commission in 2003, he was asked to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council for Positive Action for Teen Health, or PATH. The advisory council encourages action toward detecting adolescent mental illness. In April 2003, he was named to serve as a public member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which comprises both professional and public members who address such issues as student recruitment and professional ethics for CPAs.
Branstad serves on the boards of, among others, Conmed Health Management Inc[dead link], American Future Fund, the Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Living History Farms.
Governor of Iowa (2011–present)
On August 2, 2009, the Des Moines Register reported that Branstad was actively considering running for the Republican nomination for governor. On October 7, 2009, Branstad filed papers to run for governor in the 2010 election. According to a poll conducted in September 2009 by The Des Moines Register, he maintained a 70% favorability rating from Iowans compared to Governor Chet Culver's rating of 50%.
The Des Moines Tea Party gave Branstad a "no" on their report card on "criteria for acceptance" and said Branstad had "a history of raising taxes, [was] not a true conservative, and increased the size of government every year he held office, [and] built a state-owned phone company." Branstad was accused by former Iowa State Auditor Richard Johnson of keeping "two sets of books" on the state budget when he was governor. Johnson said Branstad needed to be "transparent" to Iowa voters about the reporting of Iowa's finances during his tenure as governor.
Terry Branstad married Christine in 1972. The couple has three children and as of 2014 four grandchildren. They are both Catholic after Terry converted from Lutheranism before marriage. Christine has worked as a medical assistant and as a volunteer at schools and hospitals.
- 1982 election for Governor of Iowa:
- 1986 election for Governor of Iowa:
- 1986 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 51.9%
- Lowell Junkins (D), 48.0%
- 1990 election for Governor of Iowa:
- 1990 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 60.6%
- Donald Avenson (D), 38.8%
- Republican Primary 
- Lucey, Catherine (June 7, 2013). "Terry Branstad May Need To Approve Medicaid Abortion Funding". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "Branstad's stand questioned". Omaha.com. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on Dec 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "2010 Official Canvass by County - Governor" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State's Office. Nov 29, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
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[...] Served in the United States Army as a military policeman 1969-1971, earning rank as Sergeant E-5. [...]
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[...] Following two years in the U.S. Army, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Branstad earned his J.D. degree from the Drake University Law School. [...]
- "Terry Branstad (R) > Background". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). July 23, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
[...] After college, Branstad served in the Army for two years and received the Army Commendation Medal. [...]
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- "Archived: Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa -- Chair of the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education". President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. United States Department of Education. December 13, 2001. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "2009-2010 AICPA Board of Directors". Aicpa.org. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2010-08-29.[dead link]
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- "The new Vander Plaats question: Will he back Branstad?", blog post by Reid Forgrave, The Des Moines Register, June 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- Obradovich, Kathie (June 2, 2010). "DM Tea Party scorecard: ‘No’ to Branstad, Roberts". Des Moines Register. Gannett Company. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
[...] About Branstad, the group says, among other things, 'History of raising taxes, not a true conservative, increased the size of government each year he held office, built a state-owned phone company.' [...]
- "Des Moines Tea Party's Candidate Report Card" (PDF). Des Moines Register. Gannett Company. June 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Des Moines Tea Party Credibility Questioned Following Candidate Report Card". Theiowarepublican.com. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Home - The Des Moines Tea Party". The Des Moines Tea Party. April 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Clayworth, Jason (June 12, 2010). "Accounting controversy still dogs Branstad" (Abstract). The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa: Gannett Company. p. A.1. Archived from the original on 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Christine Branstad (Iowa) Archived from the original on November 9, 2014
- "Election Results > US Gubernatorial Elections, 1982 statistics - states compared - StateMaster". www.statemaster.com. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- "Iowa Legislature Heritage : Compound Object Viewer". contentdm.legis.state.ia.us. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
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- "Terry Branstad re-elected to historic sixth term". desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Terry Branstad.|
- Governor Terry Branstad official Iowa government site
- Terry Branstad for Governor
- Terry Branstad at DMOZ