Eye On Boise

Semanko throws hat in ring

Norm Semanko, executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association, says he’s running for the 1st District congressional seat that Butch Otter will vacate in two years. Otter announced even before he was sworn in for his current term that he’ll be leaving after this term to run for governor.

Semanko, 38, grew up in North Idaho and is a 1984 graduate of Lakeland High School in Rathdrum. A University of Idaho grad, he worked for Sen. Larry Craig from 1988 to 1993, including a stint as field representative in Lewiston. He also worked for the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Eagle.

Semanko said it would be “a dream come true” for him to represent the 1st Congressional District, which includes all of North Idaho. “That’s why I wanted to let my friends and relatives in North Idaho be among the very first to know that I will seek the office.”

Others who have indicated interest in the open congressional seat thus far include state Controller Keith Johnson and former state Sen. Sheila Sorensen, both Republicans. Democrat Naomi Preston, who ran against Otter this past fall, also has expressed interest, and several others from both parties reportedly are considering the race.


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