Iowa Senate Control at Stake in November Special Election

A special election in Iowa this November could give strip Democrats of their last bastion of power in state government: the Senate.

Swati Dandekar, a Democratic state senator, resigned her position after being nominated to the Iowa Utilities Board by Republican Governor Terry Branstad. Dandekar's departure leaves Democrats with a single-seat majority in the chamber, and gives the GOP an opening to create a 25-to-25 split starting next year.

Iowa Democrats view the state Senate as their last line of a defense in a state that saw the state House and governor's office switch from Democratic to Republican control in the last general election. After Dandekar's resignation, the party immediately launched a new website — — to rally supporters, according to The Des Moines Register .

" We have an extremely urgent need for your help, " the website says.

The Register notes that the district that elected Dandekar has more registered Republicans than Democrats, and that the special election is likely to be extremely hard-fought, given what is at stake. "I think it will probably be the most expensive Senate race in a short time that we've ever had," Senate President Jack Kibbie tells the paper.


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