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Jerry Brown poised to become state's longest-serving governor

October 02, 2013|By Anthony York
  • Later this week, Jerry Brown will become the longest-serving governor in California history -- surpassing the record previously set by Republican Earl Warren.
Later this week, Jerry Brown will become the longest-serving governor… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Later this week, Jerry Brown will become the longest-serving governor in California history – surpassing the record previously set by Republican Earl Warren, who left in the middle of his third term to serve as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The milestone also puts Brown among the top 50 longest-serving American governors, according to a list compiled by the University of Minnesota.

The longest-serving governor in American history is Terry Branstad, the current governor of Iowa, who is now serving his fifth term. Branstad served as governor from 1983 to 1999, and like Brown, returned to the governor’s office in 2011.

Second on the all-time list is South Dakota Republican Bill Janklow, who recorded 5,851 days as the Mount Rushmore state’s chief executive from 1979-1987 and 1995-2003. Third on that list is Alabama’s George Wallace, who served 16 years and 4 days in three different tours as governor: 1963-1967, 1971-1979, and 1983-1987 – finding the time to run for president and survive an assassination attempt in between.

Among currently serving governors, the second-longest tenure belongs to Texas Republican Rick Perry, who was sworn in Dec. 21, 2000, when George W. Bush was elected president. But Perry has said he will not seek reelection in 2014.

Perry was one of just a handful of governors who had a chance to give Branstad a run for the longest-serving governor title. Texas is one of 16 states in the country that has no gubernatorial term limits.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber served two terms from 1995 to 2003 and returned to the statehouse in 2011. Kitzhaber, along with Brandstad and Brown, was one of three former governors to be elected to their old office in the November 2010 election.

Brown does have one national record going. At age 75, Brown is currently the oldest serving governor in the country.

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anthony.york@latimes.com

Twitter: @anthonyyorklat

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