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Gov. Branstad, LW'74, becomes longest serving governor in U.S. history

December 14, 2015

Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad, a 1974 graduate of Drake University Law School, broke the record for longest serving governor in United States history on Monday, Dec. 14.

He has been in office for 20 years, 11 months, and three days (7,642 days).

Branstad was first elected governor in 1982 at the age of 35, becoming Iowa's youngest serving governor. After serving for four terms, he took a short break to work as a lobbyist and later president of Des Moines University. He ran for governor and was elected again in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

The longest serving governor record was previously held by George Clinton, the first governor of New York. Clinton served as governor from 1777-1795 and again from 1801-1804.

Branstad was born and raised in Leland, Iowa. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Drake Law School. He also served in the United States Army. Before being elected governor, Branstad served three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives and was the lieutenant governor of Iowa from 1979-1983.

To commemorate his achievement, Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are planning two events for Monday: an open house at the Iowa Capitol and a dinner event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.