Reports: Branstad To Become U.S. Ambassador
The state of Iowa appears to be losing the nation's longest-serving governor.
Reuters is among several news agencies reporting that President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Terry Branstad as the next U.S. ambassador to China and that Iowa's governor is planning to accept the appointment.
Bloomberg broke the news first that Branstad has agreed to take the job. An aide to Trump confirmed that the nomination was made by the President-elect, Reuters and the Associated Press both reported Wednesday morning (Dec. 7, 2016).
Trump and Branstad met Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York. They are expected to be in Iowa on Thursday.
Before it becomes official, Branstad's appointment to the ambassadorship would need to be confirmed by the Senate.
If Branstad moves to Beijing, there would be a historic tranfer of leadership at the statehouse. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become Iowa's first female governor. She would hold the position until Branstad's term ends in January 2019. Reynolds could run for governor in 2018.
Branstad is currently in his second tenure as Iowa's governor. He was the youngest chief executive in state history when first elected in 1982 at the age of 36. Branstad was Iowa's longest-serving governor when he left office in 1999.
After serving for a time as president of Des Moines University, Branstad decided to seek the governorship again in 2010 and won the election. He then won an unprecedented sixth four-year term as Iowa governor in November 2014.
On Dec. 14, 2015, Branstad became the longest-serving governor in United States history, breaking the record held by George Clinton of New York, who served 21 years from 1777 to 1795 and from 1801 to 1804.
Reynolds was a first-term state senator when she was chosen by Branstad to be his running mate in 2010. During her six years as lieutenant govenor, she has focused on economic development and education.