Terry E. Branstad
|Terry E. Branstad|
|Governor of Iowa|
|1983-1999, January 14, 2011 - Present|
|January 13, 2015|
|Years in position (current service)||3|
|Years in position (previous service)||16|
|Co-chair, Council of Governors|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Lieutenant Governor of Iowa|
|Iowa House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||University of Iowa (1969)|
|J.D.||Drake University School of Law (1974)|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1969-1971|
|Citations||Army Commendation Medal|
|Birthday||November 17, 1946|
|Place of birth||Leland, Iowa|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Governor of Iowa (1983-1998, 2011-present)
- 2.2 Iowa Lieutenant Governor (1979-1983)
- 2.3 Iowa State House of Representatives (1973-1979)
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Branstad won a three-way primary to secure the Republican nomination in 2010, taking just over 50 percent of the vote to defeat Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts. He went on to defeat incumbent Democrat Chet Culver and three third party candidates on November 2, 2010. Culver's loss made him the first Iowa incumbent governor to lose election since 1962.
Branstad has declared that he will run for re-election in 2014, alongside Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. Before announcing his plans, Branstad responded to the question of whether he would another term by saying, "I love what I'm doing. So that should be an indication."
An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Branstad as the 6th most conservative governor in the country. Branstad is a member of the executive committee of the National Governor's Association. He, along with eight other governors, will determine the association's priorities and actions for the year. He was named to this leadership role in August, 2013.
Branstad is an Iowa native, originally deriving form Norwegian ancestry. He studied at the Unveristy of Iowa and at Drake University, finishing his law degree in 1974. In between his undergraduate and graduate schooling, Branstad joined the Army and served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971, earning the Army Commendation Medal.
Following three terms in Iowa's House of Representatives, Branstad was elected Lt. Governor in 1978. In the following election cycle, he won the governorship. 36 at the time he entered the governor's office, he holds the distinction of being Iowa's youngest chief executive. Branstad's first stint as governor, covering four terms from 1983 to 1999, makes him Iowa's longest serving governor.
In 1991, he earned the perpetual animosity of organized labor when he vetoed a salary bill for labor unions in spite of binding arbitration. The union sued and eventually won, in AFSCME Iowa Council 61 et al., v. Branstad. Beginning in 2003, Branstad spent slightly over six years as President of Des Moines University, boosting the school's graduate ranking and seeing DMU become the Wellness Council of America's first Platinum Recognition university.
He also founded the law firm of Branstad and Associates, L.L.C and additionally accepted a partnership in Kaufman, Patee, Branstad & Miller. Simultaneously, Branstad served as financial adviser to Robert W. Baird and Co., Inc. and was a visiting professor at the University of Iowa. His appointment as Des Moines University's leader came after President George W. Bush named him head of the President's Commission for Excellence in Special Education.
He retired from DMU in October of 2009 to launch a gubernatorial exploratory committee and officially entered the race in January of 2010.
- BA, University of Iowa (1969)
- JD, Drake University School of Law (1974)
Governor of Iowa (1983-1998, 2011-present)
Branstad was first elected governor in November, 1982. From 1983-1999, he was the state's longest serving chief executive officer. He retired after 1999 only to re-emerge in 2010 and run for a fifth term. He was elected and sworn in in January of 2011.
Branstad serves as co-chairman the the Council of Governors, a group of five Republican and five Democratic governors assembled for the purpose of liaising with federal government officials about the National Guard and homeland security issues. Branstad was first appointed to the leadership role in March 2011 and re-appointed by President Obama on February 21, 2013. The current Democratic co-chair is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.
Job creation ranking
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.
2012 presidential election
In May 2011, Gov. Branstad offered heaping praise for U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan for his ideas to tackle the country’s mushrooming national debt.
“I have been very impressed with this young man,” Branstad said. “I think he has great courage. Nobody of either party has had the guts to stand up and say, ‘We need to take on entitlements’ … I think this is the first real effort to do something significant about it.”
Branstad sharply criticized Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate Democrats for playing politics with the issue and attacking Ryan for his plan. Ryan's plan included turning Medicare into a voucher program, rather than offering alternatives.
Appointment of son to state commission
On March 1, 2013, Branstad appointed his son to the state Natural Resources Commission. Branstad named his 29 year old son, Marcus Branstad, a lifelong outdoor sportsman and “advocate for Iowa’s hunting, fishing and wildlife,” to the seven member, partisan-balanced, panel of unpaid individuals charged with handling “contested cases related to fish, wildlife, conservation law enforcement, and park and forestry programs.”
Branstad said that he had preemptively cleared the choice with Senate Majority leader Michael Gronstal, nonetheless, Iowa Sen. Jeff Danielson (D), the chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, predicted that the appointments would face some resistance in the Democrat-controlled State Senate. Greg Drees, one of the two commissioners who lost their seats on the board in 2013, did not conceal his disappointment at being replaced by Marcus Branstad, speculating to a reporter from The Des Moines Register, that “You would think a guy would get notice after serving six years...And he appoints his son. Isn’t that interesting?” The Iowa Senate ultimately confirmed Branstad's appointment to the commission on April 8, 2013.
Possibility to appoint entire Iowa Supreme Court after 2016
Since beginning his fifth nonconsecutive gubernatorial term in 2011, Branstad has appointed three Justices to the Iowa Supreme Court. Under the current judicial selection system, supreme court hopefuls submit applications to the State Judicial Nominating Commission, "a panel of licensed attorneys elected by lawyers and lay members appointed by the governor and all confirmed by the Iowa Senate," created by constitutional amendment in 1962. The Commission members, who serve concurrent rather than staggered terms as a result of the 2010 redistricting process, reviews the applications for judicial vacancies and presents three finalists to the governor, who in turn chooses one to appoint to the state Supreme Court. Since Branstad's return to office, Iowans and state government officials have speculated about a number of factors, such as the new contemporaneous terms of commissioners, and "hypotheticals," like Branstad's election to a record-breaking sixth-term in 2014 and Supreme Court Justice and Iowa voters ousting Justice David Wiggins in the 2012 general election. If Wiggins loses his retention vote in November, Branstad, with the help of the State Judicial Nominating Commission, would appoint a replacement. If that occurs, there will be only three remaining justices on the panel not appointed by Branstad, and they will be up for retention vote in 2016. All three, including the Chief Justice Mark Cady, were involved in the unanimous 2009 same-sex marriage legalization ruling, for which displeased voters fired three Justices in 2010. If Wiggins and the three Justices leftover from the 2009 ruling are all voted off the bench, and Branstad is re-elected in 2014, he will "become the first governor in history to appoint the entire Iowa Supreme Court."
Despite concerns that this possible outcome would give the governor unprecedented influence over the Supreme Court and threaten the nonpartisan credibility of the judicial, former Republican lawmaker and Branstad staffer asserted that "the filtration process... really minimizes the potential danger of one governor appointing all the justices,” alluding to the State Judicial Nominating Commission's check on the governor's authority to exercise excessive bias in his appointments. “I think our merit selection system insulates the system from that concern or at least helps to assure that that should not be a cause for alarm,” agreed Iowa State Bar Association President Cynthia Moser, however Iowa State Bar Association officials point out the potential vulnerabilities facing the merit-based selection system since the commission's term structure changed two years ago. Now Branstad could appoint half of the panel's new members.
Veto found unconstitutional
Polk District Court Judge Brad McCall ruled on December 8, 2011 that Branstad's line-item veto that closed 36 unemployment offices was unconstitutional. Branstad called the case a key test of gubernatorial authority and expressed confidence that the state Supreme Court would uphold the veto.
At a news conference On December 12, Branstad stated, "It's really more of a question of precedent and the power of the governor to control spending through the item veto process. This is an important case because it is going to determine for the future and for future governors their ability to control spending and provide the best and most efficient services to the people of Iowa."
The case began in July 2011 when Branstad vetoed portions of a budget bill that would have prohibited closure of the offices. In taking the action, the governor stated that allowing the legislation to proceed would have hurt the ability of the Iowa Workforce Development Department from creating a more efficient system for helping the unemployed.
The AFSCME and five state representatives filed suit in August, arguing the veto was unconstitutional as it redirected the money. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D) stated, "You can't reject the purpose for the spending, but keep the money, which is exactly what he did." The court agreed, stating the allocation would have to be vetoed as well in order for the action to be legal.
Branstad said they would ask for a stay of the district court's decision and an expedited review by the state Supreme Court.
Iowa Lieutenant Governor (1979-1983)
Iowa State House of Representatives (1973-1979)
- See also: Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014
In a Quinnipiac University poll taken July 17, 2013, only 43% of polled voters said that Branstad deserved to be reelected. 54% answered that he has held office long enough even though his approval rating as governor was at 51%. The poll also enquired about Jack Hatch, Tyler Olson, and Mike Gronstal, other potential gubernatorial candidates, but the overwhelming responses for all of these was that there was not enough known about them to come to any conclusions.
Branstad defeated Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts in the June 8 primary, winning with 50.33% of the vote.
Comprehensive donor information for Brandstad is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Brandstad raised a total of $9,831,020 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 10, 2013.
|Terry E. Branstad's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Governor of Iowa||$898,390|
|2010||Governor of Iowa||$8,896,196|
|1998||Governor of Iowa||$36,434|
|Grand Total Raised||$9,831,020|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Terry Branstad's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Terry Branstad's Campaign Contributions|
Governor of Iowa
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$6,519,028|
|Top 5 contributors||Republican Governors Association||$1,230,331|
|Eldon & Regina Roth||$152,000|
Terry and Chris Branstad have three grown children and four grandchildren.
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- Governor of Iowa
- Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014
- Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
- Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds
- Social media:
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- Financial (state level):
- Interest group ratings:
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- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- News: Veto by Iowa Governor ruled unconstitutional, December 13, 2011
- Smart Politics, "The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time," April 10, 2013
- National Governors Association, "Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad," Accessed April 6, 2013
- The Iowa Republican, "Branstad Wins Republican Primary," June 8, 2010
- Washington Post, "GOP ex-Gov. Branstad wins Iowa governor race," November 2, 2010
- Branstad and Reynolds 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed November 7, 2013
- KCCI, "Branstad may run in 2014," November 29, 2013
- New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
- National Governor's Association, NGA Announces New Executive Committee Leadership, August 4, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Governor Terry E. Branstad's Biography," accessed July 31, 2013
- Office of the Governor of Iowa Terry Branstad, "About the Governor," accessed October 27, 2012
- WBAL, "President Obama Appoints Governor O'Malley To New Position," February 25, 2013
- The Des Moines Register, "Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will continue to lead national council of governors," February 21, 2013
- The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
- The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
- "Branstad: Impressed with Ryan; says Gingrich made a mistake," By Lynn Campbell, IowaPolitics.com, May 23, 2011
- The Hill, "Iowa Gov. Branstad endorses Romney after criticizing his Iowa campaign," April 10, 2012
- ‘’Iowa City Patch, “Patch Poll: Was Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s appointment of son to state board appropriate?,” March 2, 2013
- ‘’The Des Moines Register, “Branstad nominates son to Iowa Agency,” March 2, 2013
- ‘’The Des Moines Register, “Branstad defends appointment of son to resource panel,” March 4, 2013
- The DesMoines Register, "Governor's son, Marcus Branstad, confirmed by Iowa Senate to natural resources post," April 15, 2013
- Quad-City Times, "Branstad has chance of being 1st governor to appoint all 7 Supreme Court justices," October 27, 2012
- BusinessWeek, "Iowa Gov: Workforce Development veto will prevail," December 12, 2011
- Des Moines Register, "Branstad unemployment office veto unconstitutional, judge says," December 8, 2011
- KCCI, "Court Rules In IWD Office Closing Lawsuit," December 8, 2011
- Chicago Tribune, "Branstad: Workforce Development veto will prevail," December 12, 2011
- WHOTV Des Moines, "CULVER PLANS: Former Governor Considers Future," December 2, 2012
- Quinnipiac University, Iowa Voters Like Gov. Branstad, But Say It's Time To Go, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Possible 2014 Challengers Are Largely Unknown, July 19, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Terry Branstad," accessed July 10, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
Chet Culver (D)
|Governor of Iowa
| Succeeded by|
Robert D. Ray
|Governor of Iowa
| Succeeded by|
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