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GOP Pulls Support for Iowa Hopeful

October 29, 2002

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) _ Republican leaders withdrew their support of a state House candidate who questioned whether her opponent can represent Iowans since she is an immigrant from India.

Karen Balderston made her comments about Democrat Swati Dandekar in a Sept. 29 e-mail to a conservative political action committee.

``Without having had the growing-up experience in Iowa, complete with the intrinsic basics of Midwest American life, how is this person adequately prepared to represent Midwest values and core beliefs, let alone understand and appreciate the constitutional rights guaranteed to us in writing by our Founding Fathers? (not her Founding Fathers),″ Balderston wrote.

Dandekar, 51, who has lived in Iowa for 30 years, declined to comment on the e-mail.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reported Saturday that it received a copy of the e-mail from an anonymous sender.

Balderston called that a ``dirty trick″ by political opponents, telling the newspaper the e-mail was ``a private campaign memo raising a legitimate issue.″

``Will a person raised to function in the upper caste of India, the most repressive form of discrimination on the planet, be able to shed such repressionist views and fully and effectively represent the citizens of House District 36?″ she asked the newspaper.

Democratic leaders said they were satisfied with the GOP response.

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On the Net:

GOP of Iowa: http://www.iowagop.org

Iowa Democrats: http://www.iowademocrats.org

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