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Iowa Senate Rejects Two Branstad Regent Nominees

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has voted down two of Gov. Terry Branstad's three nominees to the Board of Regents.

Board President Craig Lang, whose tenure has troubled Democrats, and Robert Cramer, a socially conservative businessman from Grimes, did not win the two-thirds majority needed for confirmation on Monday. Senators voted 30-20 to confirm Lang and 27-23 to confirm Cramer.

Branstad's third nominee to the nine-member board, Webster City physician Subhash Sahai, won confirmation easily in a 45-5 vote.

Members of the Democratic-majority Senate say both Lang and Cramer posed a threat to academic freedom.

Republicans argued in favor of the nominations. They noted the planned tuition freeze under Lang's leadership and say Cramer's construction experience could benefit the universities.

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