DES MOINES, Iowa — The longest serving governor in United States history now officially belongs to Iowa.
Gov. Terry Branstad earned the title Monday, which is his 7,642nd day in office. With that, he surpasses New York Gov. George Clinton’s record.
Branstad was honored Monday night at a special dinner at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It was noted at the event that Branstad makes an effort to go to all 99 counties each year. And with his 20-year service to Iowa as governor, it was determined he has been to each county in Iowa at least 25 times.
The governor was toasted by leaders of both parties at the bi-partisan event, which was attended by roughly 1,300 people.
Branstad said everything he has learned during his decades of service winds down to something his mother told him.
“There was a gentleman in my hometown in Leland, Iowa. She said, ‘He’ll never vote for you unless you ask for his vote.’ So I learned to humbly go to the door, introduce myself and tell him who I was and what I was running for, and then to sincerely ask for their support. I found people appreciate being asked,” he said.
Branstad, who was born and raised in Iowa, is currently serving his sixth term as governor. Although he has served Iowa as governor for nearly 21 years, Branstad took a break after 1999 and worked as president of Des Moines University.
He returned as governor in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.