Lawmaker: Senate will reject utility board nominee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Democrats say they will reject Gov. Terry Branstad’s nominee for the Iowa Utilities Board.

Sen. Matt McCoy of Des Moines said Thursday the nominee, former Republican Rep. Nick Wagner, doesn’t have enough Democratic votes for the two-thirds majority needed for confirmation.

The Iowa Utilities Board regulates rates and services of Iowa utilities.

McCoy, who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, says his committee also hasn’t voted to approve the nomination of Wagner, an engineer from Marion. He says some senators think Wagner isn’t qualified and could unfairly favor his hometown.

Wagner says he’ll continue to fight for his nomination.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor won’t withdraw the nomination. He called for Democrats to “drop the silly games.”

McCoy says he believes senators will reject Wagner’s nomination next week.

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