Gov. Terry Branstad says he is "energized" and ready to run for an unprecedented sixth term in office.
The Republican governor announced his bid for re-election Wednesday night before several hundred supporters at a conference center in West Des Moines. He will embark on a statewide tour Thursday.
The 67-year-old Branstad has been laying the groundwork for a race since last summer. He announced last week that he had just over $4 million in his campaign account at the end of December.
During his annual "Condition of the State" speech Tuesday, he boasted about tax cuts, education investments and a decline in unemployment.
Longtime state Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, is the leading candidate to oppose Branstad.