GOP ex-Gov. Branstad wins Iowa governor race

MIKE GLOVER - AP Political Writer
Iowa Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad arrives with his running mate Kim Reynolds, left, before a walk through at their election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Iowa Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad arrives with his running mate Kim Reynolds, left, before a walk through at their election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is returning for a fifth term after a 12-year break.

Voters elected the Republican on Tuesday over first-term Democrat Chet Culver, whose loss made him the first incumbent Iowa governor to lose election since 1962.

Branstad campaigned on promises to rein in government spending and cut business taxes. He called for making Iowa more friendly to entrepreneurs and told voters he'd create 200,000 jobs within five years.

Those pledges played well in a state with unemployment of nearly 7 percent, the highest Iowa has seen in decades.

The 63-year-old Branstad was first elected governor in 1982 and served 16 years. After opting not to run again, he was named president of Des Moines University.