Terry E. Branstad

Terry E. Branstad

Governor-elect of Iowa
Taking office
January 2011
Succeeding Chet Culver

39th Governor of Iowa
In office
January 14, 1983 – January 15, 1999
Lieutenant Robert T. Anderson (1983-1987)
Jo Ann Zimmerman (1987-1991)
Joy Corning (1991-1999)
Preceded by Robert D. Ray
Succeeded by Tom Vilsack

41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
In office
January 12, 1979 – January 14, 1983
Governor Robert Ray
Preceded by Arthur A. Neu
Succeeded by Robert T. Anderson

Born November 17, 1946 (1946-11-17) (age 64)
Leland, Iowa
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Iowa
Drake University
Profession Politician

Terry Edward Branstad (born November 17, 1946) is an American politician who 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.[1] 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,[2] and four third party candidates on November 2, 2010.[3]

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.[4] Branstad was widely seen as the front runner for the Republican nomination and had wide leads in aggregate polling against Culver.[5][6][7][8] Branstad won the Republican primary with 50.4% of the popular vote, 9.5 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor.


Early life and career

Branstad attends the recommissioning ceremony for the USS Iowa, April 28, 1984.

Born to a Norwegian-American Lutheran farming family in Leland, Iowa, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Drake University Law School. He served three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives and served as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. 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.

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) in 1991.

Branstad served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. In 1989, Branstad was made an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Iowa State University.

Later career

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[9] to become its president. On October 16, 2009, Branstad announced his retirement from Des Moines University in order to make a run for governor.[10]

Branstad was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Commission for Excellence in Special Education.[11] 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,[12] Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc., American Future Fund,[13] Cemen Tech, Featherlite, Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,[14] and Living History Farms.

Electoral history

1982 General Election:[15]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 52.8%
  • Roxanne Conlin (D), 46.6%
1986 General Election:[16]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 51.9%
  • Lowell Junkins (D), 48.0%
1990 General Election:[17]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 60.6%
  • Donald Avenson (D), 38.8%
Republican Primary [18]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 51.8%
  • Fred Grandy (R), 48.1%
1994 General Election:[19]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 56.8%
  • Bonnie Campbell (D), 41.6%
Republican Primary [20]
  • Terry Branstad (R), 114,290 votes, 50.4%
  • Bob Vander Plaats (R), 92,759, 40.9%
  • Rod Roberts (R), 19,916, 8.8%
2010 General Election:[21]

2010 Gubernatorial campaign

Branstad's 2010 campaign logo

On August 2, 2009, the Des Moines Register reported that Branstad was actively considering running for the Republican nomination for governor.[22]

On October 7, 2009, Branstad filed papers to run for Iowa Governor in the 2010 election.[23] 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%.[24] Branstad may be helped by an anti-incumbent mood.[8]

On Tuesday June 8, 2010 Branstad won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Iowa,[25] but when opposing candidate Bob Vander Plaats conceded, he did not endorse Branstad.[26]

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."[27][28][29]

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.[30]


  1. "Branstad's stand questioned". Omaha.com. 2009-12-06. http://www.omaha.com/article/20091206/NEWS01/712069891. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  2. "Whitman and Fiorina Win in Calif.; Lincoln Prevails in Ark." by Carl Hulse, Robbie Brown contributed reporting; The New York Times, June 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  3. "Candidate Listing by Office, November 2, 2010 General Election" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State's Office. August 3, 2010. 
  4. "Culver rating slips; poll gives Branstad positive signs | desmoinesregister.com". The Des Moines Register. 2009-09-19. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090919/NEWS/90919016/Culver-rating-slips--poll-gives-Branstad-positive-signs. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  5. "TH - Top News Article". Thonline.com. 2009-12-02. http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=265298. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  6. "Politics Nation". RealClearPolitics. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/governor_iowa/. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100214/NEWS09/2140347/1007/news05/Iowa-Poll-Culver-rating-falls-even-among-base
  8. 8.0 8.1 Slevin, Peter (March 8, 2010). "Iowa governor faces tough reelection as another state sours on incumbents". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/07/AR2010030701528.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  9. [1]
  10. "Des Moines University President Terry Branstad retires - DMU News & Events". Dmu.edu. 2009-10-16. http://www.dmu.edu/news/index.php/2009/10/16/des-moines-university-president-terry-branstad-retires/. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  11. "Archived: Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa - Chair of the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education". Ed.gov. 2001-12-13. http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/bios/branstad.html. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  12. "About CONMED Health Management". Conmedinc.com. http://www.conmedinc.com/about_team.php#board. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  13. [2]
  14. "2009-2010 AICPA Board of Directors". Aicpa.org. 2006-09-18. http://www.aicpa.org/About/Governance/BoardofDirectors/Pages/2009-2010%20AICPA%20Board%20of%20Directors.aspx. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  15. "Election Results > US Gubernatorial Elections, 1982 statistics - states compared - StateMaster". www.statemaster.com. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/gov_us_gub_ele_1982_ele_res_opp_can-1982-election-results-opposing-candidates. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  16. "Iowa Legislature Heritage : Compound Object Viewer". contentdm.legis.state.ia.us. http://contentdm.legis.state.ia.us/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=%2Fredbooks&CISOPTR=28578&REC=8&CISOBOX=Branstad. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  17. "1990 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Iowa". uselectionatlas.org. http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=1990&fips=19&f=0&off=5&elect=0. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  18. "Iowa Legislature Heritage : Compound Object Viewer". contentdm.legis.state.ia.us. http://contentdm.legis.state.ia.us/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=%2Fredbooks&CISOPTR=32146&REC=12&CISOBOX=Grandy. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  19. "1994 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Iowa". uselectionatlas.org. http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=1994&fips=19&f=0&off=5&elect=0. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  20. "Iowa Primary Election Results 2010". desmoinesregister.com. http://data.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/iowa-elections/. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  21. "2010 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Iowa". 
  22. Beaumont, Thomas (August 2, 2009). "Branstad says he's weighing run for governor". Des Moines Register. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090802/NEWS09/908020328. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  23. "Branstad Files Paperwork for Gubernatorial Run". Theiowarepublican.com. 2009-10-07. http://theiowarepublican.com/home/2009/10/07/branstad-files-paperwork-for-gubernatorial-run/. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  24. Beaumont, Thomas (September 19, 2009). [Culver rating slips; poll gives Branstad positive signs "Branstad says he's weighing run for governor"]. Des Moines Register. Culver rating slips; poll gives Branstad positive signs. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  25. "Republicans Nominate Branstad for Iowa Governor". KCRG.com. June 8, 2010. http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/95924319.html. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  26. "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.
  27. http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/teapartyscorecard.pdf
  28. "Des Moines Tea Party Credibility Questioned Following Candidate Report Card". Theiowarepublican.com. http://theiowarepublican.com/home/2010/06/03/des-moines-tea-party-credibility-questioned-following-candidate-report-card. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  29. "Home". The Des Moines Tea Party. 2009-04-15. http://www.desmoinesteaparty.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  30. [3]

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur A. Neu
Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
January 14, 1979 – January 14, 1983
Succeeded by
Robert T. Anderson
Preceded by
Robert D. Ray
Governor of Iowa
January 14, 1983 – January 15, 1999
Succeeded by
Tom Vilsack
Preceded by
Gerald L. Baliles
Chairman of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
Booth Gardner