Terry E. Branstad

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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] He won the general election in November, defeating Democratic incumbant Chet Culver by a 52.9% to 43.1% margin.[4]

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.[5] Branstad was widely seen as the front runner for the Republican nomination and had wide leads in aggregate polling against Culver.[6][7][8][9] Branstad won the Republican primary with 50.4% of the popular vote, 9.5 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor.

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Early life and career

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.

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