Terry Edward Branstad (born November 17, 1946) is an American politician who is the 42nd and current Governor of Iowa since January 2011. Branstad was the 39th Governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999 and President of Des Moines University from 2003 to 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. Branstad is the youngest and longest-serving governor in Iowa's history. In 2010, he prevailed in a three-way primary and won the Republican nomination to run again for governor. 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 Democratic incumbent Chet Culver by a 52.9% to 43.1% margin.Branstad entered the 2010 race as the front runner for both the primary and general elections. Independent polling in 2009 indicated that Branstad's approval ratings hovered in the 70% range. Branstad was widely seen as the front runner for the Republican nomination and had wide leads in aggregate polling against Culver. Branstad won the Republican primary with 50.4% of the popular vote, 9.5 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor.
Born to a Norwegian-American Lutheranfarming family in Leland, Iowa, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Drake University Law School. Branstad served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. In 1989, he was named an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Iowa State University.
He served three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives and served as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa.
Governor of Iowa (1983-1999)
When elected governor at age 36, he 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 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). legislature to approve budget reforms until 1992. By 1999, Iowa had an unprecedented $900 million budget surplus.
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 in 1999. In Branstad's first year as Governor, the state budget had a $90 million deficit. It took several years until the budget was balanced. Branstad claims he didn’t have enough support in the
Branstad has focused most of his efforts on endeavors outside of politics since leaving office. 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, Branstad 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, Branstad 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 Branstad 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 Conmed Health Management Inc, Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc., American Future Fund, Cemen Tech, Featherlite, Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Living History Farms.
2010 Gubernatorial campaign and election
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 Iowa Governor in the 2010 election. According to a poll conducted in September 2009 by The Des Moines Register, Branstad maintained a 70% favorability rating from Iowans compared to current Governor Chet Culver's rating of 50%.Branstad may be helped by an anti-incumbent mood.On Tuesday June 8, 2010 Branstad won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Iowa, but when opposing candidate Bob Vander Plaats conceded, he did not endorse Branstad.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 has been 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.
May, 12th 2011