Former TV anchor to make bid for open state senate seat

Democrats today revealed former TV anchor Liz Mathis, a well-known name in eastern Iowa, is hoping to run in the special election to replace State Senator Swati Dandekar, a Democrat from Marion who resigned so Governor Brasntad could appoint her to the Iowa Utilities Board.  The resignation set up a high-stakes battle between the parties, as a Republican victory in the district would pitch the Iowa Senate into a 25-25 split.  Republicans and Democrats in the Marion area will soon hold nominating convention to select the two nominees who will face off in the November 8 special election.

Read Mathis’ news release below:

Liz Mathis announced today that she will seek the Democratic nomination for Iowa Senate District 18 in the upcoming special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Swati Dandekar of Marion.

“People all over are trying to get back on their feet from this lingering national recession,” Mathis said. “They need jobs and they need stability for their families, and all we’re getting from our government is gridlock. It must change. I pledge to work with Democratic and Republican legislators and Governor Branstad to make a difference for the people in District 18.” [Read more…]

GOP candidate emerges for “special” in eastern Iowa senate district

Republican Mary Rathje today announced her candidacy for the state senate seat now held by Democrat Swati Dandekar.  Dandekar has resigned, as Governor Branstad is appointing her to the Iowa Utilities Board.  The election is a high-stakes affair for the two political parties, as Democrats now hold a narrow 26-to-24 edge in the state senate and a GOP victory in this race would knot up the senate at 25-25. That would likely stymie efforts to advance legislation that is favored by either party, as neither Democrats nor Republicans would have the 26 votes necessary to pass a bill in the Iowa Senate.

Read Mary Rathje’s campaign announcement below.  She is the sister-in-law of Steve Rathje, who ran for the US Senate in 2008 and for congress in 2010. The name Rathje is pronounced ROTCH-ee.

MARION, IA-   Mary Rathje announced today her bid to seek the Republican nomination for the Iowa Senate District 18 Special Election.  

Governor Branstad called for the Special Election after State Senator Swati Dandekar resigned to fill a position on the Iowa Utilities Board.  The election is set for Tuesday, November 8, 2011. [Read more…]