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List of United States Senators from Iowa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Current delegation

Iowa was admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846 and elects United States Senators to Class 2 and Class 3. The state's current U.S. Senators are Republicans Chuck Grassley (serving since 1981) and Joni Ernst (serving since 2015).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Worst 10 American Governors


I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.


List of Senators

Class 2

Class 2 U.S. Senators belong to the electoral cycle that were elected for two U.S. Congresses in the first elections of 1848, and then the seat was contested every three Congresses (six years) thereafter. The seat in recent years have been contested in 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. The next election will be in 2020.


Class 3

Class 3 U.S. Senators belong to the electoral cycle that were elected for one United States Congress in the first elections of 1848, and then the seat was contested every three Congresses (six years) thereafter. The seat in recent years have been contested in 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016. The next election will be in 2022.

# Senator Party Years in office Electoral history T
Electoral history Years in office Party Senator #
Vacant December 28, 1846 –
December 7, 1848
Legislature failed to elect due to a three-way split that prevented any candidate from earning the required number of 30 legislators' votes.[1] 29th Legislature failed to elect due to a three-way split that prevented any candidate from earning the required number of 30 legislators' votes.[1] December 28, 1846 –
December 7, 1848
George Wallace Jones, US Senator.jpg

George W. Jones
Democratic December 7, 1848 –
March 3, 1859
Elected in 1848. 1 1 Elected in 1848. December 7, 1848 –
February 22, 1855
Augustus Caesar Dodge.jpg

Augustus C. Dodge
31st 2 Re-elected in 1849.

Resigned to become U.S. Minister to Spain, having lost re-election.
Re-elected in 1852.

Lost renomination.
2 33rd
  February 22, 1855 –
March 3, 1855
34th 3 Elected in 1855.

Elected invalidated, as the Iowa Senate had not participated in it.
March 4, 1855 –
January 5, 1857
Free Soil

James Harlan
  January 5, 1857 –
January 29, 1857
Re-elected to finish his vacant term. January 29, 1857 –
May 15, 1865

James Harlan
Hon. James W. Grimes, Iowa - NARA - 528410.jpg

James W. Grimes
Republican March 4, 1859 –
December 6, 1869
Elected in 1858. 3 36th
37th 4 Re-elected in 1860.

Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
Re-elected in 1864.

Resigned due to ill health.
4 39th
  May 15, 1865 –
January 13, 1866
Elected to finish Harlan's term.[2]

Lost nomination for the next term.
January 13, 1866 –
March 3, 1867
Samuel Jordan Kirkwood.jpg

Samuel J. Kirkwood
40th 5 Elected January 13, 1866.[3]

Lost re-election.
March 4, 1867 –
March 3, 1873

James Harlan
Vacant December 6, 1869 –
January 18, 1870
James B. Howell - History of Iowa.jpg

James B. Howell
Republican January 18, 1870 –
March 3, 1871
Elected to finish Grimes's term.

George Grover Wright.jpg

George G. Wright
Republican March 4, 1871 –
March 3, 1877
Elected in 1870.

5 42nd
43rd 6 Elected January 17, 1872.[4] March 4, 1873 –
August 4, 1908
William B. Allison - Brady-Handy.jpg

William B. Allison
Samuel Jordan Kirkwood.jpg

Samuel J. Kirkwood
Republican March 4, 1877 –
March 7, 1881
Elected in 1876 or 1877.

Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
6 45th
46th 7 Re-elected January 23, 1878.[5]
James W. McDill - Brady-Handy.jpg

James W. McDill
Republican March 8, 1881 –
March 3, 1883
Appointed to continue Kirkwood's term.

Elected January 25, 1882 to finish Kirkwood's term.[6]

James Falconer Wilson - Brady-Handy.jpg

James F. Wilson
Republican March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1895
Elected January 25, 1882.[7] 7 48th
49th 8 Re-elected January 23, 1884.[8]
Re-elected in 1888.

8 51st
52nd 9 Re-elected March 5, 1890.[9]
John Henry Gear - Senator.jpg

John H. Gear
Republican March 4, 1895 –
July 14, 1900
Elected January 17, 1894.[10]

Re-elected January 17, 1900,[11] but died.
9 54th
55th 10 Re-elected January 22, 1896.[12]
Vacant July 14, 1900 –
August 22, 1900
Jonathan P. Dolliver - History of Iowa.jpg

Jonathan P. Dolliver
Republican August 22, 1900 –
October 15, 1910
Appointed to finish Gear's term.
Appointed to begin the vacant term.

Elected January 22, 1902 to finish the vacant term.[13]
10 57th
58th 11 Re-elected January 22, 1902.[14]

Renominated in 1908 but died before the general election.
Re-elected January 23, 1907.

11 60th
  August 4, 1908 –
November 24, 1908
Elected to finish Allison's term. November 24, 1908 –
July 30, 1926
Albert B Cummins.jpg

Albert B. Cummins
61st 12 Re-elected January 19, 1909.
Vacant October 15, 1910 –
November 12, 1910

Lafayette Young
Republican November 12, 1910 –
April 11, 1911
Appointed to continue Dolliver's term.

Lost election to finish Dolliver's term.
William Squire Kenyon.jpg

William S. Kenyon
Republican April 12, 1911 –
February 24, 1922
Elected to finish Dolliver's term.
Re-elected January 21, 1913. 12 63rd
64th 13 Re-elected in 1914.
Re-elected in 1918.

Resigned to become Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
13 66th
67th 14 Re-elected in 1920.

Lost renomination, then died.
Charles A Rawson - US Senator.jpg

Charles A. Rawson
Republican February 24, 1922 –
December 1, 1922
Appointed to continue Kenyon's term.

Retired when his successor was elected.
Smith Wildman Brookhart.jpg

Smith W. Brookhart
Republican December 1, 1922 –
April 12, 1926
Elected to finish Kenyon's term.
Re-elected in 1924.

Lost election challenge.
14 69th
Daniel Steck.jpg

Daniel F. Steck
Democratic April 12, 1926 –
March 3, 1931
Successfully challenged his predecessor's election.

Lost re-election.
  July 30, 1926 –
August 7, 1926
Appointed to continue Cummins's term.

Elected on November 10, 1926 to finish Cummins's term.[15]

August 7, 1926 –
March 3, 1927
David Wallace Stewart.jpg

David W. Stewart
70th 15 Elected in 1926.

Lost renomination and then lost re-election as an Independent.
March 4, 1927 –
March 3, 1933
Smith Wildman Brookhart.jpg

Smith W. Brookhart

Lester J. Dickinson
Republican March 4, 1931 –
January 3, 1937
Elected in 1930.

Lost re-election.
15 72nd
73rd 16 Elected in 1932.

March 4, 1933 –
July 16, 1936

Richard L. Murphy
  July 16, 1936 –
November 3, 1936
Elected to finish Murphy's term. November 3, 1936 –
January 3, 1945
Guy Mark Gillette.jpg

Guy Gillette
Clyde L. Herring, US Senator.jpg

Clyde L. Herring
Democratic January 3, 1937 –
January 3, 1943
Elected in 1936.
Didn't take seat until January 15, 1937 as he wanted to remain Governor of Iowa. However, he was still elected and qualified as senator.

Lost re-election.
16 75th
76th 17 Re-elected in 1938.

Lost re-election.
George Allison Wilson.jpg

George A. Wilson
Republican January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1949
Elected in 1942.
Didn't take seat until January 14, 1943 as he wanted to remain Governor of Iowa. However, he was still elected and qualified as senator.

Lost re-election.
17 78th
79th 18 Elected in 1944. January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1969
Bourke B. Hickenlooper.jpg

Bourke B. Hickenlooper
Guy Mark Gillette.jpg

Guy Gillette
Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1955
Elected in 1948.

Lost re-election.
18 81st
82nd 19 Re-elected in 1950.
Thomas Ellsworth Martin.jpg

Thomas E. Martin
Republican January 3, 1955 –
January 3, 1961
Elected in 1954.

19 84th
85th 20 Re-elected in 1956.

Jack Miller
Republican January 3, 1961 –
January 3, 1973
Elected in 1960. 20 87th
88th 21 Re-elected in 1962

Re-elected in 1966.

Lost re-election.
21 90th
91st 22 Elected in 1968.

January 3, 1969 –
January 3, 1975
Harold Hughes, US Senator.jpg

Harold Hughes
Senator dick clark.jpg

Dick Clark
Democratic January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1979
Elected in 1972.

Lost re-election.
22 93rd
94th 23 Elected in 1974.

Lost re-election.
January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1981
John Culver.jpg

John Culver
Roger Jepsen.JPG

Roger Jepsen
Republican January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1985
Elected in 1978.

Lost re-election.
23 96th
97th 24 Elected in 1980. January 3, 1981 –
Sen Chuck Grassley official.jpg

Chuck Grassley
Tom Harkin official portrait.jpg

Tom Harkin
Democratic January 3, 1985 –
January 3, 2015
Elected in 1984. 24 99th
100th 25 Re-elected in 1986.
Re-elected in 1990. 25 102nd
103rd 26 Re-elected in 1992.
Re-elected in 1996. 26 105th
106th 27 Re-elected in 1998.
Re-elected in 2002. 27 108th
109th 28 Re-elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2008

28 111th
112th 29 Re-elected in 2010.
Joni Ernst Official photo portrait 114th Congress.jpg

Joni Ernst
Republican January 3, 2015 –
Elected in 2014. 29 114th
115th 39 Re-elected in 2016.
To be decided in the 2020 election. 30 117th
118th 31 To be decided in the 2022 election.
# Senator Party Years in office Electoral history T
Electoral history Years in office Party Senator #
Class 2 Class 3

Living former U.S. Senators from Iowa

As of January 2019, there are three living former U.S. Senators from Iowa. The most recent to die was John Culver (served 1975–1981) on December 26, 2018, who was also the most recently serving to die.

Senator Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Dick Clark 1973–1979 (1928-09-14) September 14, 1928 (age 90)
Roger Jepsen 1979–1985 (1928-12-23) December 23, 1928 (age 90)
Tom Harkin 1985–2015 (1939-11-19) November 19, 1939 (age 79)

See also


  1. ^ a b Clark, p. 17–46, 72–79.
  2. ^ Clark, p. 141: Kirkwood 118 votes, J. F. Stomenan (Democratic) 20
  3. ^ Clark, p. 141: Harlan 118 votes, H. H. Trimble (Democratic) 20
  4. ^ Clark, p. 167.
  5. ^ Clark, p. 185: Allison 104 votes, Daniel F. Miller 35 votes, E. N. Gates 3 votes.
  6. ^ Clark, p. 199: M. M. Ham and Daniel Campbell lost.
  7. ^ Clark, p. 199: L. G. Kinne and D. P. Stubbs lost.
  8. ^ Clark, p. 209: Allison 90 votes, Benton J. Hall 48 votes, D. M. Clark 10 votes, L. G. Kinne 1 vote.
  9. ^ Clark, p. 221: Allison 79 votes, S.T. Bestow (Democratic) 63 votes, William Larrabee 8 votes.
  10. ^ Clark, p. 234: Gear beat Democrat Horace Boies by votes unknown.
  11. ^ Clark, p. 245: Gear 111 votes, Fred E. White (Democratic) 32 votes
  12. ^ Clark, p. 238: Allison 118 votes, Washington I. Babb (Democratic) 25 votes, Frank Q. Stuart 1 vote.
  13. ^ Clark, p. 247: Dolliver 119 votes, John J. Seerley (Democratic) 20 votes.
  14. ^ Clark, p. 247: Allison 119 votes, E. H. Thayer (Democratic) 20 votes.
  15. ^ Byrd, p. 107.


  • Byrd, Robert C. (October 1, 1993). Wolff, Wendy (ed.). "The Senate, 1789-1989: Historical Statistics, 1789-1992". United States Senate Historical Office (volume 4 Bicentennial ed.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • Clark, Dan Elbert (1913). "History of Senatorial Elections in Iowa". Iowa City, Iowa.
This page was last edited on 8 May 2019, at 19:44
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