Governor Branstad met wellwishers in his formal office this morning on his 7,640th day in office. That makes him the longest-serving governor in U.S. history.
Childhood friends and longtime supporters came to the open house to congratulate Branstad on the milestone.
Branstad explains his longevity this way.
"Growing up on a farm and learning to work hard at an early age," Branstad says. "I had great teachers who encouraged me to go into public service."
Branstad says during his nearly 22 years as governor, he never considered higher office, even though friends and supporters encouraged him to do so.
"My response was always I love Iowa and want to stay here," Branstad adds. "It’s where I have the experience to make a difference."
Some at the open house picked up a copy of a new biography of Branstad entitled Iowa's Record Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story.
The observance continues tonight with a fundraising dinner at the state fairgrounds. Proceeds will go to Iowa history projects.
"I think Iowans appreciate stability and predictability," Branstad adds.