Dandekar eyeing run for Braley's Congressional seat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dandekar eyeing run for Braley's Congressional seat

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Swati Dandekar, a Democrat from Marion, is eyeing a run for fellow Democrat and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley's congressional seat. Swati Dandekar, a Democrat from Marion, is eyeing a run for fellow Democrat and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley's congressional seat.
MARION (KWWL) -

Swati Dandekar, a Democrat from Marion, is eyeing a run for fellow Democrat and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley's congressional seat.

Dandekar, who served in both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate, announced on Thursday that an exploratory committee, chaired by State Senator Wally Horn of Cedar Rapids and Tina Patterson of Marion, has been formed.

"Over the past several weeks I have been encouraged by friends across the district to enter the race," Dandekar said in a written statement. "I am honored to have served in the Iowa legislature and then to be given the opportunity to serve as member of the Iowa Utilities Board.

"I am exploring the opportunity to once more serve in elected office because I know it is important to the people living in Northeast Iowa to continue the strong representation established by Congressman Bruce Braley," Dandekar continued. "We must keep this seat in Democratic hands.

"I am humbled by the number of people who have reached out to me, urging me to run and citing my ability to put good public policy before politics, as the economy of Iowa and the 1st Congressional District continue to grow."

Dandekar served as a state representative from 2003 to 2009 and then as a state senator from 2009 to 2011. She was then appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board by Governor Terry Branstad in 2011.

Dandekar is a naturalized American citizen who was born in India and came to Iowa in 1973.

She says she will spend the next several weeks talking with voters, friends and family to make an assessment of the race. She plans to make a final decision this summer.

Congressman Bruce Braley announced earlier this year that he will run for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's seat when Harkin retires following this current term.

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