Branstad sworn in as Iowa governor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad sworn in as Iowa governor

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DES MOINES (KWWL) --  Shortly after ten Friday morning, former Governor Terry Branstad became current Governor Terry Branstad. He's entering his 5th term as Iowa's leader.

Gov. Branstad and Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds were sworn in Friday morning, held an open house at the Capitol in the afternoon and hosted the Inaugural Ball in the evening.

Branstad served four terms as Iowa governor between 1983 and 1999. He challenged incumbent Democratic Gov. Chet Culver in the November election.

Reynolds previously served as the Iowa State Senator in District 48. This will be her first term as a statewide elected official.

Governor Terry Branstad is returning to a very familiar position, but he's entering the office during very uncertain times. His goal is simple -- to leave the state better than he found it.

"Iowa is exceptional and these are exceptional times. Our challenge: to seize the day," he said in his inaugural speech.

Smaller, tighter government, and a call to follow through on promises. These are the words we're hearing from Governor Terry Branstad. He's vowing to make his constituents the true leaders of the state.

"Government must serve the people. And not vice versa. Leadership is about service, not power," he explained.

The governor is setting several challenging goals for the coming years -- calling them "covenant principles". They include a 15% budget cut, and eliminating under-performing teachers.

"It is time to put in place reforms that are hallmarks of high-performing school systems - starting with assuring there is a first-rate teacher in every classroom." the governor said.

Branstad is also promising to celebrate success by re-vamping our tax system, and his plans for job creation haven't changed since his campaign.

"To those who say that our goals of 200,000 new jobs and 25% increase in family incomes are too high, I say, you ain't seen nothing yet. Only wrong-headed policy choices can prevent us from entering a golden era in Iowa history," said Branstad.

The governor also took a moment to recognize Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Garner, the first woman to hold a majority leader position in Iowa.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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