At the organizational session of the Legislature today, members got the chance to pick the seats in the chambers that they’ll occupy for the next two years. Seat-picking goes in order of seniority, so new Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, was among the last to pick. He wandered right over to a prime aisle seat near the door, which apparently wasn’t yet occupied – but Hart couldn’t see the nameplate in front of the desk that identified the seat as that of House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley.
Amid laughter, Newcomb intoned from the podium, “Fine with me.” Realizing his mistake, Hart wandered into the well of the House, looking uncertainly around for a space. “There’s some over here – there’s one right there,” Newcomb pointed out to him, helpfully.
Hart found a seat that actually was open. Later, he said ruefully, “I knew it was his, but I forgot.”