Next Tuesday Iowa Republican voters will decide who will win the G.O.P.’s 2010 nomination for governor and someone who held the post for most of the ’80s and ’90s is asking for another four years as Iowa’s chief executive.
Terry Branstad was Iowa’s youngest governor when he was sworn into office in early 1983. He won four consecutive terms as governor, culminating with his narrow 1994 Republican primary victory over Republican Congressman Fred Grandy, followed by his general election win over Democrat Bonnie Campbell.
“We’ve paid our dues in Iowa, but we’re united in a spirit to overcome adversity,” Branstad said during that 1994 campaign. “Now, in the rest of this decade of the ’90s, I want it to be our time when the state of Iowa can shine.”
Branstad left office in January of 1999 after 16 years in office. Last October, after about six years as president of Des Moines University, Branstad launched what he refers to as his “comeback.” His core campaign promises are cutting the size of state government by 15 percent, increasing family incomes by 25 percent and working to create 200-thousand new jobs in Iowa.
“Together we will bring Iowa back to the greatness that we know we have within us,” Branstad said in January during a campaign speech in Des Moines.
Branstad has a long history of winning elections, starting with his three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives in the 1970s and his term as lieutenant governor. Branstad, who is 63 years old, says it’s his prior experience in office that makes him the best Republican to face-off against Democratic Governor Chet Culver in November.
“I know Iowans and I know Iowans, given the right leadership and encouragement, will always exceed expectations,” Branstad said during an appearance on Iowa Public Television earlier this spring. “And that’s what I want to do.”
Listen to Radio Iowa’s profile of Branstad: capprofileTB