Credible sources say there is a possibility that State Senator Swati Dandekar (D-Marion) will be appointed to the Public Utilities Board by Governor Terry Brandstad. If this is true then we’ll have an open seat in Senate District 18, which has the potential to be a Republican pick-up. This would make a 25 seat tie in the Iowa Senate.
Update: By the way, I’d just like to point out that I broke this story :). It has now been confirmed, Branstad will appoint Dandekar. He will need to call for a special election within 5 days of announcement. The earliest a special election can take place is within 45 days. Gay marriage among other items will be primary issues in the race to claim this unexpected open seat.
2nd Update: The Branstad administration sent out a press release announcing the special election date: “Gov. Terry E. Branstad today set a Special Election date of November 8, 2011, to fill Senate District 18. The seat became vacant today after Senator Swati Dandekar resigned from her Senate seat to serve on the Iowa Utilities Board. Gov. Branstad had five days to choose a date for the election. The Special Election will coincide with city elections.”