Swati Dandekar

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Swati A. Dandekar
Swati A. Dandekar - Official Portrait - 84th GA.jpg
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 12, 2009 – September 16, 2011
Preceded by Mary Lundby
Succeeded by Liz Mathis
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 36th district
In office
January 13, 2003 – January 12, 2009
Preceded by Pat Murphy
Succeeded by Nick Wagner
Personal details
Born (1951-03-06) March 6, 1951 (age 66)[1]
Nagpur, India[1]
Political party Democratic[1]
Spouse(s) Arvind[2]
Children Ajai and Govind[2]
Residence Marion, Iowa[2]
Alma mater Nagpur University
Mumbai University[2]
Website Dandekar's website

Swati A. Dandekar (Marathi: स्वाती दांडेकर; born March 6, 1951) is a former Iowa state legislator and a Democratic member of the Iowa Utilities Board, awaiting Senate confirmation in 2012.[3] Previously, she was a member of the Iowa House of Representatives for the 36th District from 2003 to 2009 and a member of the Iowa Senate for the 18th District from 2009 to 2011. She received her B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Nagpur University and a graduate diploma in dietetics from University of Mumbai.[2] As of 2011 Dandekar serves as the Chair (formerly President) of the National Foundation for Women Legislators and as a board member of the Iowa Math and Science Coalition, the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation, and the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted & Talented. Dandekar previously served on the Iowa Association of School Boards, and as a board member of the Women in Public Policy (Iowa Charter), and the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy.[2] On July 23, 2013 Swati announced that she would be running for US Congress from 1st Congressional District.[4]

Political history[edit]

Before her election to the Iowa General Assembly, Dandekar was a two-term member of the Linn-Mar Community School District Board from 1996 to 2002. During that time, Governor Tom Vilsack appointed her to the Vision Iowa Board, a post she held from 2000 to 2002.[1][2] She began her legislative career in 2002, winning an election to the Iowa House District 36, defeating Republican Karen Balderston.[5] She won re-election twice, against Republican Cory Crowly in 2004 and Republican Nick Wagner in 2006, before running for the Iowa Senate.[6][7] In 2008, Dandekar defeated Republican Joe Childers for election to Iowa Senate District 18, and served there until resigning in 2011 to accept Governor Terry Branstad's appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board for a term expiring in 2015.[8][9]

While in the House, Dandekar served on the Appropriations, Economic Growth, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee during all three terms, and served on the Education committee during her first term and the Transportation committee during her third term. While in the Senate, she served on the Commerce, Economic Growth, Rebuild Iowa, Transportation, and Ways and Means committees, while reprising her role as a member of the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.[10][11][12][13]


Dandekar has received several awards, including the J. C. Penney Education Golden Rule award, the 2003 Pillar of the Community award from Waypoint, recognition as a 2004 Flemming Institute Fellow and recognition by the Elliott School of International Affairs' Global Economic Conference. In addition, she has been named Person of the Year three times, once in 2002 by India Abroad, once in 2003 by the Asian Alliance of Iowa, and once in 2008 by AsianWeek.[2]

During her 2014 campaign for the Iowa 1st Congressional District Democratic primary, Dandekar was formally endorsed by the National Organization for Women.

Electoral history[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes %
Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2002 [5]
District 36
Turnout: 11,794
Democratic (newly redistricted) Swati A. Dandekar Democratic 6,770 57.5
Karen Balderston Republican 5,000 42.4
Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2004 [6]
District 36
Turnout: 18,071
Democratic hold Swati A. Dandekar Democratic 9,843 54.5
Cory Crowley Republican 8,220 45.5
Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2006 [7]
District 36
Turnout: 13,293
Democratic hold Swati A. Dandekar Democratic 6,987 52.6
Nick Wagner Republican 6,302 47.4
Iowa Senate elections, 2008 [8]
District 18
Turnout: 39,752
Democratic hold Swati A. Dandekar Democratic 20,667 52.0
Joe Childers Republican 17,367 43.7

Personal life[edit]

Dandekar and her husband, Arvind, reside in Marion, Iowa.[2] They have two adult sons.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "Project Vote Smart". Senator Dandekar biography. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Swati Dandekar Bio". Wired For Change. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  3. ^ "Gov. Branstad names Senator Swati Dandekar to Iowa Utilities Board". Iowa Governor's Office (Press Release). 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  4. ^ "Meet Swati Dandekar, an Indian Woman in Race for US Congress". Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Canvass Summary - Final - 2002 General Election (11/5/2002)" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. 2002-12-02. p. 27. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Canvass Summary - Final - 2004 General Election (11/2/2004)" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. 2004-12-06. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b "Official Results Report - Statewide, 2006 General Election 11-07-2006" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. 2006-11-21. p. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  8. ^ a b "State of Iowa Official Canvass Summary November 4, 2008 General Election" (PDF). Iowa Secretary of State. p. 26. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  9. ^ Clayworth, Jason (2011-09-16). "UPDATE: Senator resigns, leaving slim Democratic majority in jeopardy; special election Nov. 8". Des Moines Register. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  10. ^ "Iowa 80th General Assembly Swati Dandekar". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  11. ^ "Iowa 81st General Assembly Swati Dandekar". Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  12. ^ "Iowa 82nd General Assembly Swati Dandekar". Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  13. ^ "Iowa 83rd General Assembly Swati Dandekar". Archived from the original on 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  14. ^ Biography at Wired for Change

External links[edit]

Iowa House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Murphy
36th District
2003 – 2009
Succeeded by
Nick Wagner
Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Mary Lundby
18th District
2009 – 2011
Succeeded by