Politics

It's Official: Iowa Gov. Branstad Will Run for 6th Term

January 16, 2014

The worst kept secret in Iowa politics is out: Terry Branstad is running for re-election.

The five-time incumbent whose career in state politics dates to the early 1970s formally announced his candidacy for a sixth four-year term Wednesday night before a boisterous crowd of friends, family and supporters.

“Four years ago, I asked the question: Are you ready for a comeback?” Branstad told the crowd in a brief speech. “Tonight, I want to ask you another question: Are you ready to build Iowa’s future?”

Branstad, 67, enters the race as the clear favorite, presiding over a strong economy with low unemployment and coming off a legislative session in which lawmakers passed his top property tax and education reform initiatives. He’s banked more than $4 million in contributions for the campaign – a figure expected to swamp any challengers.

He’s also running for history in 2014. By one measure, Branstad already is the longest-serving governor in U.S. history. Should he win re-election, his sixth term would cement that record and eclipse that of a New York governor whose term began before the Revolutionary War.

His leading Democratic opponent is state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines.

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