This week Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry will pass former GOP Colorado Governor John Love for 50th place on the list of the longest serving governors in U.S. history. Perry has served 3,842 days (10 years, 6 months, 8 days) since taking over for George W. Bush in December 2000. Perry recently passed up former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who ranks #52 at 3,832 days. The list excludes gubernatorial service tallied before statehood was achieved (e.g. George Clinton of New York, who served for more than 10 years before New York became a state in July 1788). With that caveat, Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad, now in the midst of his fifth four-year term, tops the list at 6,012 days and counting (16 years, 5 months, 17 days). If Governor Perry serves out his full term ending in January 2015 he will have risen to #12 on the list with 5,144 days served - nipping Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson by two days.
While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.
Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.
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