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Iowa History Daily: January 14 - Branstad Starts Run in Office

Iowa History Daily: On January 14, 1983, Terry Branstad took office as Governor of Iowa. By the time Branstad retired from the office for the second time, his 22 years, 4 months, and 13 days in office made him the longest-serving governor in United States history.

Born to a farm family in rural Winnebago County near Leland, Branstad graduated from Forest City High School in 1965. After studying political science at the University of Iowa, Branstad served as a military policeman in the 503rd Military Police Battalion during the Vietnam War. Following service, Branstad attended law school at Drake University.

Moving back to Winnebago County after graduation, Branstad practiced law in Lake Mills before election to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1973. Branstad moved into the Lieutenant Governor’s office after election in 1979, before winning Iowa’s highest office in 1983.

Only 36 years-old when elected Governor, Branstad’s time in office started with his distinction as the youngest chief executive in Iowa’s history. Serving until 1999 during his initial gubernatorial stint, Branstad returned to Iowa’s highest office in 2011. Serving again until 2017, Branstad became America’s longest serving governor when he passed New York’s George Clinton’s time-of-service during December 2015. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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