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Chester John "Chet" Culver (born January 25, 1966) is the current governor of Iowa, having won the 2006 election. His assumption of office marks the first time that Democrats have simultaneously controlled both the executive and legislative branches of Iowa's state government since the 1965–1967 session of the Iowa General Assembly. Culver is also the first Democratic governor in Iowa since Nelson G. Kraschel in 1937 to be elected to succeed another Democrat. He was elected as the Federal Liaison for the Democratic Governors Association for 2008-2009. His father, John Culver, is a former U.S. Senator from Iowa.

Personal life

Culver was born in Washington, D.C.marker He is a Presbyterian (where he has served as an elder) and is married to Mariclare Culver, who is Roman Catholic. Culver attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High Schoolmarker in Bethesda, Marylandmarker. He attended Virginia Techmarker on a football scholarship and earned a B.A. in education in 1988. Later, he received an M.A. in teaching from Drake Universitymarker in 1994.

After college, Culver moved to Iowa and worked as a staff member for the state Democratic Party. He worked with Bonnie Campbell on her 1990 campaign for state attorney general, serving as field director. Culver previously worked a lobbyist under the guidance of Campbell's husband. From 1991 to 1995, Culver worked as a consumer and environmental advocate in the attorney general's office. After completing his master's degree, he took a job as a teacher in Des Moinesmarker. Working first at Rooseveltmarker, and then Hoover High School, he taught government and history. Culver coached sophomore football and eighth grade boys basketball during his tenure[172754].

In 1998, Culver ran for Iowa Secretary of State and was victorious. At the age of 32, he was the youngest Secretary of State in the nation. He was reelected to a second term in 2002 by an overwhelming margin. While serving at this post, he created the Iowa Student Political Awareness Club, which attempts to get students motivated to participate in politics when they reach voting age [172755]. During his tenure, Culver received many accolades for modernizing the office, increasing voter registration, and ensuring voter accessibility for people with disabilities.

Contrary to his wife who supported John Edwards, on February 7, 2008 in Omaha, Nebraskamarker, he endorsed Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election.

2006 gubernatorial race

Culver's main opponents for the Democratic nomination were former director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development Mike Blouin and seven-term State Representative Ed Fallon. Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge was also running for the nomination, but after she withdrew from the race, she gave her support to Culver and became his running mate. Culver won the Democratic primary with 39% of the vote.

Culver faced Republican Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester, who was unopposed in the Republican primary, in the general election. On November 7, 2006, Culver defeated Nussle in the general election by nearly 100,000 votes, winning 54% of the vote to Nussle's 44%, with minor party candidates getting 2%.

Policies as governor

 Culver cuts budget across the board by 10%. This will cost about 1,400 Iowans their jobs.

The State of Iowa's net appropriations have increased from $5.0 billion (FY2006) to $6.1 billion (FY2009).

Electoral History


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