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.
Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).
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