Change of Senate leadership in Iowa possible

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Marion Democratic Sen. Swati Dandekar to serve on the Iowa Utilities Board, raising questions about which party will control the Iowa Senate.

Democrats hold a 26-to-24-seat majority in the Senate, and Dandekar’s district was seen as leaning toward Republicans. Branstad has set a special election for Nov. 8 to replace Dandekar.

A GOP victory would mean a tie in the Senate and could increase chances the chamber would take up a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage that has been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal.

If a Republican won the special election, Senate President Jack Kibbie said it’s unclear whether there would be changes in leadership posts.

– From staff and wire reports