IA-01: Swati Dandekar resigns from Iowa Utilities Board

Former State Senator Swati Dandekar has resigned from the Iowa Utilities Board, effective July 22. Her resignation letter (pdf) does not give any specific reason for the decision but thanks Governor Terry Branstad for the opportunity to serve. The governor accepted Dandekar’s resignation and will search for her replacement. Branstad appointed Dandekar to the three-member Iowa Utilities Board in September 2011, forcing a special election in her swing Senate district (suburban Linn County). Democrat Liz Mathis won that election and was re-elected to a four-year term in 2012.

Dandekar’s term on the utilities board was to run through April 2015. I assume she would not leave that position unless she has decided to run for Congress in the open first district. I am surprised that she seems ready to follow through, because there have been few public signs of life from her exploratory committee since it was created two months ago. For example, there have been no postings on Facebook or twitter since May 9, nor am I aware of any press releases. In my opinion, the Democratic primary will be an uphill battle for Dandekar.

Cedar Rapids attorney Dave O’Brien has events scheduled for July 10 in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo. Assuming he and Dandekar both announce candidacies in IA-01, that makes five Democrats seeking to replace Bruce Braley: three from Linn County (Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon, Dandekar, and O’Brien), State Representative Pat Murphy of Dubuque, and State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic of Waterloo (in the exploratory committee phase for now). I believe at least one or two of those candidates will end up not filing for the ballot next March.  

  • Procedural question

    Do Dems have a primary threshold like the GOP ?  35% or whatever or convention?

    • yes

      35% is state law

    • I think someone will get 35 percent

      in the primary. After the next couple of fundraising quarters, I don’t expect all five of these candidates to file for the seat next March.

  • Pass it around

    I’d like to have some of whatever she is drinking or smoking . . .  

    • Thoughts

      You’ll probably find some Hillary 08′ backers helping Swati’s campaign.  You can see a lot of the pro-business Vilsack types helping her as well.

      Party discipline is enforced pretty well in the House and even if she did vote for something controversial it would stick out like a sore thumb in a D leaning district.

      I’m not defending Dandekar, I’d vote for Anesa if I had a vote in the race.  I don’t think Dandekar is as awful as some people like to speak about.  

      Someone will have to drop out, don’t know who yet.  

  • Convention

    Assuming all stay in, who would prevail in a convention? Idk the district but i would guess not swati and not Vonica…Feet to fire, I’d guess Murphy.

  • But in the meantime. . .

    all of this primary and convetion stuff is well and good (and what a political blog is about), but what I really want to know for the short run is: who gets the D seat on the utilities board?

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