|United States Ambassador to China
|Succeeding||David Rank (Acting)|
|39th and 42nd Governor of Iowa|
January 14, 2011
|Preceded by||Chet Culver|
January 14, 1983 – January 15, 1999
Jo Ann Zimmerman
|Preceded by||Robert Ray|
|Succeeded by||Tom Vilsack|
|Chair of the National Governors Association|
August 1, 1989 – July 31, 1990
|Preceded by||Gerald Baliles|
|Succeeded by||Booth Gardner|
|41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa|
January 12, 1979 – January 14, 1983
|Preceded by||Arthur Neu|
|Succeeded by||Robert Anderson|
|Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 8th district
January 8, 1973 – January 7, 1979
|Preceded by||Del Stromer|
|Succeeded by||Clifford Branstad|
|Born||Terry Edward Branstad
November 17, 1946
Leland, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||University of Iowa (BA)
Drake University (JD)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1969–1971|
|Unit||503rd Military Police Battalion|
|Awards||Army Commendation Medal|
|*Pending Senate confirmation|
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 state's 39th governor from 1983 to 1999, and he was president of Des Moines University from 2003 to 2009. Currently serving his sixth, four-year term, he is a member of the Republican Party. Branstad is the longest-serving governor in American history. In his 2010 return to politics, 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, defeating Culver by 52.9% to 43.1%.
Branstad entered the 2010 Iowa governor race as the front runner for both the primary and general elections. Independent polling in 2009 indicated that his favorability 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 sitting governor, Chet 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. On December 14, 2015, he became the longest-serving governor in U.S. history (breaking the record held by George Clinton of New York, who served 21 years). As of the November 2016 elections, Branstad became governor of a state government "trifecta," with Republican majorities in both the Iowa Senate and House; the last time Iowa's government had a Republican "trifecta" was from 1997-1998, also under Branstad as governor.
On December 8, 2016, Branstad accepted President Donald Trump's nomination of him for the post of United States Ambassador to China (PRC). Should he take office as China Ambassador, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace Branstad as Iowa Governor, and would become the first female Governor of Iowa.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Early political career
- 3 Governor of Iowa
- 4 U.S. Ambassador to China
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Electoral history
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Branstad was born in Leland, Iowa, the son of Rita L. (Garland) and Edward Arnold Branstad, a farmer. His mother was Jewish, and his father was from a Norwegian American Lutheran family; Branstad himself was raised Lutheran, and later converted to Catholicism. Through his mother, Branstad is a second cousin of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.[a]
Branstad received a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Iowa in 1969 and a juris doctorate from Drake University Law School in 1974. After getting his undergraduate degree, he was drafted and served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971, serving as a 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.
Early political career
Governor of Iowa
First tenure (1983–1999)
When elected governor at age 36, Branstad was the youngest chief executive in Iowa’s history and when he left office, he was Iowa’s longest-serving governor. He served as Chairman of the National Governors Association during 1989–1990, and also 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.
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 said 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 in early 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 on 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 a variety of issues related to the profession.
Branstad serves on the boards of, among others, Conmed Health Management Inc, American Future Fund, the Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Living History Farms.
Second tenure (2011–present)
2010 gubernatorial election
On August 2, 2009, The Des Moines Register reported that Branstad was actively considering seeking 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 as compared to Governor Chet Culver’s rating of 50%.
The Des Moines Tea Party gave Branstad a "no" on their report card regarding "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.
2014 gubernatorial election
Branstad ran for reelection in 2014. He was opposed in the Republican primary by Tom Hoefling, a political activist and nominee for President in 2012 for both of America’s Party and American Independent Party. Branstad won the primary with 83% of the vote.
For the general election, Branstad faced Democratic nominee State Senator Jack Hatch and won the election with 59% of the vote.
In June 2013, Branstad signed into law a sweeping tax reform bill that garnered widespread bipartisan support, passing the Iowa Senate by 44 votes to 6 and the Iowa House by 84 votes to 13. The bill, entitled Senate File 295, provided for the state's largest tax cut in state history, including significant property tax reforms - estimated at $4.4 billion at the time of signing - as well as an estimated $90 million of annual income tax relief, in part in the form of an increase in the earned income tax credit. The bill also included significant reforms to education and healthcare.
Job creation ranking
Also, in a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals looking at 45 of the country’s 50 governors by their job creation record, Branstad was ranked number 28. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
U.S. Ambassador to China
In December 2016, Branstad was chosen by President Donald Trump to serve as US Ambassador to China, succeeding Max Baucus. Branstad accepted the offer within one day after meeting with President Trump in New York. Trump cited Branstad's decades of experience with China in his role as Governor of Iowa in choosing him for the role. Xi Jinping, China's paramount leader considers Branstad an “old friend”.
Branstad will be succeeded by Lieutenant Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds if his nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
As of February, 2017, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has not yet held a confirmation hearing with respect to Branstad's nomination.
Terry Branstad married Christine Johnson on June 17, 1972. The couple have three children – Eric, Allison and Marcus – and seven grandchildren. Christine has worked as a medical assistant and as a volunteer at schools and hospitals.
Branstad is a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He received the honor of "Knight Commander of the Court of Honor" in 2015.
- 1972 election for Iowa House of Representatives District 8:
- Terry Branstad (R), 59.0%
- Elmer Selbrand (D), 41.0%
- 1974 election for Iowa House of Representatives District 8:
- Terry Branstad (R), 68.7%
- Jean Haugland (D), 31.3%
- 1976 election for Iowa House of Representatives District 8:
- Terry Branstad (R), 70.4%
- Franklin Banwart (D), 29.6%
- 1978 Republican primary election for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa:
- Terry Branstad, 42.1%
- Hansen, 32.7%
- Oakley, 25.2%
- 1978 election for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa:
- Terry Branstad (R), 57.7%
- William Palmer (D), 42.3%
- 1982 election for Governor of Iowa:
- 1982 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 52.8%
- Roxanne Conlin (D), 46.6%
- Marcia Farrington (L), 0.3%
- Jim Bittner (S), 0.3%
- 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%
- Bailey/Nelson (SW), 0.4%
- 1994 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 56.8%
- Bonnie Campbell (D), 41.6%
- Hughes/Davis (Petition), 0.6%
- Butler/Stone (NL), 0.4%
- Olsen/Carey (L), 0.3%
- Galati/Pena (SW), 0.1%
- Republican Primary 
- 2010 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 52.9%
- Chet Culver (D), 43.1%
- Jonathan Narcisse (I), 1.3%
- Eric Cooper (L), 1.3%
- James Hughes (I), 0.3%
- David Rosenfeld (SW), 0.2%
- Write-Ins, 0.2%
- Republican Primary:
- Terry Branstad (R), 129,752 votes, 79.8%
- Tom Hoefling (R), 16.2%
- Write-Ins, 0.2%
- 2014 General Election:
- Terry Branstad (R), 59.1%
- Jack Hatch (D), 37.3%
- Lee Deakins Hieb (L), 1.8%
- Jim Hennager (I), 0.9%
- Jonathan Narcisse (I), 0.9%
- Write-ins, 0.1%
- Branstad's maternal grandfather, Louis Edward Garland, is an Anglicized spelling of Louis Edward's grandfather Leib Yitzhak Garfinkel who lived in the Pale of Settlement in Russian Empire in the late 19th century. Leib Yitzak's father was Zelig, grandfather was Nakhman, and great-grandfather was Leib, born in 1735. Leib Yitzak's son was Nakhman Garfinkel. His sons Max Hyman (later "Harry") Garland and Louis Edward Garland immigrated to the United States from their native town of Vagova, Lithuania, arriving December 7, 1907, aboard the Celtic in New York City after sailing from Liverpool. These brothers listed their race as "Hebrew". Later, the Garlands settled in Council Bluffs. Max is Merrick Garland's grandfather.
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[...] Served in the United States Army as a military policeman 1969-1971, earning rank as Sergeant E-5. [...]
- "1983-1999, 2011- Terry Branstad". Iowa Heritage Digital Collections. State Library of Iowa. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
[...] 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. 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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-  About Team.
- "2009-2010 AICPA Board of Directors". Aicpa.org. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- globalreach.com, Global Reach Internet Productions, LLC - Ames, IA -. "Board Members - Living History Farms". www.lhf.org. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
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- Obradovich, Kathie (June 2, 2010). "DM Tea Party scorecard: 'No' to Branstad, Roberts". Des Moines Register. 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. June 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
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- Thomas, G.Scott (June 27, 2013). "28. Terry Branstad -- Governors ranked by their job-creation records". The Business Journals. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- https://share.america.gov 8 Dec. 2016: : Trump’s choice for top China diplomat has long ties to Xi
- @theAlexHanson, Alex Hanson, firstname.lastname@example.org,. "Branstad chosen as Chinese ambassador; Reynolds to become first female governor". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- V.V.B. (8 December 2016). "Damage control: An "old friend" of Xi Jinping will be America's next ambassador to China". The Economist. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
- "Branstad not prepping yet for confirmation hearing (AUDIO)". Radio Iowa. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- Christine Branstad (Iowa) Archived from the original on November 9, 2014
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Terry Branstad.|
- Governor Terry Branstad official Iowa government site
- Terry Branstad for Governor
- Terry Branstad at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN