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Terry Edward Branstad (born November 17, 1946) is an Americanmarker politician who was Governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999 and President of Des Moines Universitymarker from 2003 to 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and career

Born to a Norwegian-American Lutheran farming family in Leland, Iowamarker, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowamarker and his law degree from Drake University Law Schoolmarker. He served three-terms in the Iowa House of Representativesmarker and served as the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. When elected governor, he was, at age 35, the youngest chief executive in Iowa history; and, when he left office, he was Iowa's longest-serving governor.

In 1997, he chaired the Education Commission of the States, the Republican Governors Association, and the Governors' Ethanol Coalition. He also served as Chair of the National Governors Association during 1989–1990. Persevering amid the economic recession and farming crisis of the mid-1980s, Iowa became the first state to link every school district in a broadband network.

Branstad was a U.S. Army serviceman between 1969 and 1971, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. In 1989 Branstad was made an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Iowa State University.

Later career

Since leaving office, Branstad has focused most of his efforts on endeavors outside of politics. After leaving office, he founded Branstad and Associates, L.L.C. He also was a partner in the firm of Kaufman, Pattee, Branstad & Miller, as well as a financial advisor for Robert W. Baird and Co., Inc. of Iowa's Henry Tippie Business College.

In August 2003, Branstad accepted the offer of Des Moines Universitymarker to become its president. On October 16, 2009, Branstad announced his retirement as president of Des Moines University [14889].

Branstad was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Commission for Excellence in Special Education. The commission was charged with developing a plan to improve the educational performance of students with disabilities. After completing his work with the commission in 2003, Branstad was asked to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council for Positive Action for Teen Health, or PATH. The advisory council encourages action toward detecting adolescent mental illness.

In April 2003 Branstad was named to serve as a public member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which comprises both professional and public members who address such issues as student recruitment and professional ethics for CPAs.

Additionally, Branstad currently serves on the boards of these companies and non-profit organizations, Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc., American Future Fund, Cemen Tech, Featherlite, Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank and Living History Farmsmarker.

Branstad is widely considered a politician who can challenge incumbent Chet Culver in the 2010 Iowa gubernatorial election; on August 2, 2009, the Des Moines Register reported that he was actively considering whether to run for the Republican nomination for governor. A poll taken from July 23-26 by Iowa First Foundation, a Republican run organization, shows that Branstad as the only Republican who could beat Culver, with a margin of 53% to 34%.

On October 7th 2009, Branstad filed papers to once again run for the Governorship of Iowa in 2010.

Political Controversy

In the late summer of 2009, a Political Action Committee was formed to build public support for Branstad's potential fifth run for Governor. The Draft Branstad PAC began placing advertising on radio and the internet. The ads claimed that the former governor had lowered taxes, improved education, and that he enjoyed high public approval.

At about the same time, Iowa media outlets began reporting on flyers that appeared in several central Iowa locations referring to Governor Branstad's record of raising taxes, appointing a pro-choice Lieutenant Governor in Joy Corning, legalizing gambling, and more than doubling the size of state government. Shortly after the anti-Branstad flyers appeared, a video appeared on YouTube illustrating the striking similarities between former Governor Branstad's record and that of current Governor Chet Culver

The unwillingness of many within the state to accept the Draft Branstad PAC's version of former Governor Branstad's record, as evidenced by the flyers and the video, has led some to speculate that should the former governor decide to enter the Republican primary, it would quickly deteriorate into a political "bloodbath."



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